November 27, 2011
Casiño presses probe on NAIA, wants Cobonpue, Layug group to appear to clarify airport renovation issue
Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño wants to invite world-renowned furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue, interior designer Budji Layug and architect Royal Pineda (PLC) to a congressional inquiry on the controversies surrounding the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Casiño is also questioning Roxas’ announced budget of P1 billion for the renovation, saying the figure could not be found in the General Appropriations Acts of 2012. “We want to know who’s footing the bill. It’s not in the budget. Is a private entity paying for it?” he asked.
Casiño filed House Resolution 1836 early this month seeking a congressional inquiry on the reputation of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport as one of the worst airports in the world.
“This recent controversy as to why the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC)’s Secretary Mar Roxas just disregarded the plans made by the three after developing it for 8 months of pro bono work and offering a lower price than that of Leandro Locsin and Associates (LVL) must be threshed out. It’s surprising that Roxas announced the LVL plan only after a travel website voted NAIA 1 as one of the world’s worst airports,” said the progressive lawmaker.
Based on newspaper reports while generally dismissing PLC’s plan as mere aesthetic facelift, Roxas himself said the main chunk of the airport rehabilitation budget, amounting to P500 million, will go to aesthetics and interior design. For retrofit and structural upgrades, the government will spend P340 million. It will also shell out P300 million for rapid exit taxiways to “reduce waiting time’’ of airplanes, P20 million for improvements in 72 toilets in the airport, and P20 million more for urinals and other amenities. Roxas said banks and duty-free shops would be relocated.
“While we appreciate efforts of Sec. Roxas to finally do something about NAIA, he should clarify how the decisions were made. Just last month, Roxas said that the government was considering the sale of NAIA 1 to raise as much as $2.5 billion for aviation infrastructure. Less than a month later, he comes up with the LVL plan which he says is more thorough than the PLC’s. The people and Congress need an explanation,” said the solon.
“Why should the government go for a more expensive plan when there is a cheaper one available from our world renowned designers and architects? This definitely has to be looked into considering that what is at stake here is one of the key transportation facilities of our country,” ended Casiño.#