Press Release
April 4, 2016

Blackout unaccepatable, NAIA in the black with P3B profit
Gov't earned P5.3 B in '14 from NAIA

Government collected P9.3 billion from Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) passengers and airlines in 2014, netting P5.25 billion, "which is more than enough to guarantee reliable electricity or buy emergency power generators" for its four terminals, Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto said.

"NAIA is a profit center. Lack of money can't be an excuse on why it is hit by blackouts, or its ceilings are crashing down, or its airconditioners are conking out," Recto said.

Recto cited income reports of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) and three other agencies that profit from NAIA's 37 million annual passengers in saying that the five-hour power outage that hit the airport Saturday was "unacceptable and preventable."

"NAIA is in the black. So there should be no blackout. This ridiculous incident is simply unacceptable. Government has billions of pesos to spend for improvement of airport facilities," he said.

Out of its gross income of P9.3 billion in 2014, MIAA posted a net profit after tax of P3.06 billion, Recto said.

On top of this, it remitted P1.08 billion as national government share to the Treasury and paid P1.1 billion in taxes, "which means government netted close to P5.3 billion from NAIA users in 2014," Recto said.

"Kaya ang NAIA ay hindi barangay hall or presinto ng pulis na maaaring maputulan ng kuryente. May pondo nga ito para makapagtayo ng sariling mini-power plant," Recto said.

Recto said a third of NAIA's P9.3 billion gross income came from the P550 international terminal fee and the P200 domestic terminal fee paid by passengers, which reached P3.5 billion in 2014. Airlines contributed P2.8 billion in landing fees.

"'Yung P3.5 bilyon na terminal fee na lang nang mga pasahero ay sapat na para i-maintain ng maayos ang electrical system ng NAIA, maging ang mga aircon nito para hindi 'It's more fan in NAIA 3,'" Recto said.

Recto said funds for the improvement of NAIA can also be sourced from travel tax collections.

Most of the nearly P2 billion travel tax collected by the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) in 2014 were from NAIA outbound passengers.

"NAIA is a major collection point of this tax. This tax is either included in the ticket fare or paid before check-in at the TIEZA kiosk," Recto said.

Travel tax rates range from P2,700 for a first class passenger; P1,620 for an economy seat; to P300 for an OFW dependent.

"Part of this travel tax collections should be plowed back to NAIA, for comfort facilities like clean toilets, better Wi-Fi, and tourist help desks and brochures, "Recto said.

Also, Recto pointed out, a significant portion of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines' (CAAP) P5.7 billion gross income for two years came from NAIA flight operations. "Kahit doon sa Aviation Security Fee (ASF) may konting kita ang pamahalaan," Recto said, referring to the P60 ASF that every international passenger pays and the P15 charged to domestic passengers.

In 2014, P598 million in ASF was collected, mostly from NAIA users. The whole amount was remitted by the Office of Transportation Security, a DOTC agency, to the Treasury, according to official reports.

Recto said MIAA should be allowed to tap its own income for NAIA improvements. "There can be two mechanisms for this: Either the MIAA can retain a portion or all of what it is supposed to remit, or the government can plow it back," Recto said.

"The government can observe a moratorium from enjoying NAIA profits and instead reinvest the same for facility improvements, including the one-stop, multi-agency government assistance and complaints desk to be operated by the Presidential Action Center," he added.

At the height of the tanim-bala controversy, Recto called for the setting up of a Palace-supervised mini-government center within NAIA that will be staffed by DOT, DOLE, DOJ, DOF employees who will be on hand to assist passengers or answer their queries.

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