THERE’S a growing displeasure over efforts to delay the NAIA rehabilitation project. NAIA is an old airport and has not undergone any repair for a very long time.
Upgrading NAIA would address congestion and allow more movements in commerce which would favor the economy. Besides, the project is to be undertaken by a reputable Philippine construction firm—Megawide—which built the globally renowned Mactan-Cebu International Airport.
Construction of the said airport was completed with flying colors. No other than President Rodrigo Duterte lauded the result of the project. “I am most proud to be a worker of a government that has produced something this beautiful and this good for the people,” Duterte said.
Despite this, a major potential delay for the NAIA project is being caused by a solon who has made numerous public announcements seen as a scheme to further delay and prevent the Megawide consortium from securing and completing the NAIA project.
Recently, with the NBI, he questioned potential foreign ownership violations in the consortium that manages the MCIA. In September, he made a claim that Indian-based GMR Group — a longtime partner of Megawide crucial to completing the P109 billion capital needed — suddenly pulled out of the NAIA deal.
In response, Megawide said, “As widely-held, publicly listed companies, Megawide and GMR strictly adhere to all pertinent laws, rules, and regulations, especially relating to public infrastructure projects bidded by the Philippine national government. We have done so at the MCIA and will continue to do so for the rehabilitation and transformation of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.”
Notable is that just two weeks ago, the Philippine News Agency — the official news source of the Philippine government — reported that “Megawide and India’s GMR Infrastructure Ltd. has complied with the additional requirements necessary for its P109 billion unsolicited proposal to rehabilitate and transform the NAIA into a world-class airport.”
The relationship between Megawide and GMR indeed seems stronger than ever. Together, GMR and Megawide delivered the transformation of Mactan-Cebu International Airport and then again collaborated to construct the Clark International Airport. Now together, they want to fix NAIA for the Filipino people and the Philippine economy.
So why all the lies against Megawide? Why not help the project? Why oppose it? These are good questions for the 2022 elections.
This early, a passenger group and a nongovernment policy think tank urged the Department of Transportation to improve its policy directions and fast-track the NAIA. The Passenger Forum and Infrawatch PH said the government should take advantage of the current health crisis and start the rehabilitation plan of the airport.
Hindi nagkamali ang mayorya ng mga mambabatas sa Mababang Kapulungan ng Kongreso sa pagpili kay House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco bilang kanilang pinuno. Ratipikado na ang 2021 People’s Budget at siguradong mapakikinabangan ito ng mga Pilipino sa susunod na taon.
Sa pagtimon ni Velasco, umaarangkada na rin ang mga panukala na prayoridad ni Presidente Rodrigo Duterte at bago mag-break ang Kamara para sa Pasko, siguradong marami sa mga ito ang lulusot sa third and final reading sa plenaryo.
Isa na rito ang panukala para sa Coconut Levy Trust Fund na naglalayon na madagdagan ang kita ng 3.5 milyong magsasaka ng niyog mula sa 68 probinsiya. Sa pamamagitan ng Coconut Levy Trust Fund, maiaangat ang klase ng kanilang pamumuhay at nakatutulong ito sa pag-abot natin sa tinatawag ng mga eksperto na “social equity” o pagkakapantay-pantay sa lipunan. Dahil sa Coco Levy Trust Fund, inaasahan ang muling pagsigla ng industriya at mas magiging moderno na ito kung kaya siguradong lalaki ang produksiyon.
Sa ilalim ng Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund Act o House Bill No. 8136 na inendorso sa plenaryo ni Housecommittee on agriculture andfood chairman Quezon Rep. Wilfredo Mark Enverga, matitiyak na mapakikinabangan ng lahat ng mga magsasaka ng niyog ang mga buwis na kinolekta sa kanila ilang dekada na ang nakalilipas.
Nasa P76 bilyon na ang trust fund at pati na ang assets nito sa ngayon. Nakasaad sa HB 8136 na tatagal nang 99 years ang trust fund sa ilalim ng Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan na gagawin ng nakatokang Philippine Coconut Authority.
Kapag naisabatas ito, isa ito sa magiging pinakamatingkad na pamana ni Duterte matapos ang kanyang panunungkulan na mapakikinabangan maging ng mga kaapuapuhan ng ating mga magsasaka ng niyog.
Ayon kay House Speaker Velasco, agree siya kay President Duterte na napapanahon at kailangan na talaga ang pagbuo ng Coconut Levy Trust Fund at proud na proud siya na naging parte siya ng pagbuo nito.
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