Recto: Travel Tax and Terminal Fees Should be Spent at NAIA

The Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto has declared that the government should use travel tax and fees paid by Manila's 32 million annual passengers to improve the standards and image of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. 
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According to Recto, lack of money should never be an excuse for ignoring complaints about security issues and passenger discomfort as three government agencies source much of their combined P16.5 billion annual income from what has been described as "the world's worst airport." The government agencies that are currently benefiting from the funds collected at NAIA include the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority, the Manila International Airport Authority, and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines. 

Recto says that even if just a fraction of the fees paid by passengers and aircraft using the airport were used for the direct benefit of NAIA, there would be enough to install "clean toilets, CCTV's, and comfortable couches" in all four of the airport's terminals. 

"If a mall charges a mere P10 for the use of a hotel-like toilet, I can't see why a Filipino travelling abroad who pays P550 in terminal fees and P1,620 in travel tax should be entitled to less," said Recto. 

In 2012, the Manila International Airport Authority recorded a gross operating income of P8.28 billion and a net income after taxes of P2.64 billion. According to Recto, P3.3 billion of the gross income came from "toll and terminal fees" paid by departing passengers. Each departing passenger pays a P550 terminal fee for international flights and P200 for domestic flights.Recto added that the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority received P3.5 billion in "travel tax" in 2012 that was levied on more than 2 million passengers. 

Recto revealed that the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines is also a profitable organization with a gross income of nearly P4.7 billion and net income of P1.93 billion for 2012. "While CAAP derives its income from pilot licensing fees and aircraft airworthiness certificates, what cannot be denied is that most of the holders of these use the country's premier airport," said Recto. 

Recto praised the Civil Aviation Authority for its decision to fund the CCTV security system for NAIA Terminal 3 but added that this funding model "must be the template in using internally-generated income to improve the NAIA complex." Recto used this as an example to push TIEZA to invest some of its tax funds back into the NAIA complex in order to enhance amenities within all four terminals. He also added that the airport collects fees from airport concessionaires like taxis and food stalls. 

Unlike Congress, the three government agencies have the power and authority to easily allocate funds for NAIA-improvement projects. “Hindi kasama sa national budget ang pag-gasta ng kita at pondo nila, kaya mas madali silang maglaan ng pondo kung drinking fountains, couches at malinis na comfort rooms lang ang bibilhin.” Recto said.

In December alone, the Mayor of Labangan in Zamboanga del Sur was gunned down at the arrival gate of Terminal 3 while in another incident, a man was able to climb over the airport perimeter fence to reach a Kuwait Airlines jet prior to being arrested by airport police. The Ninoy Aquino International Airport has consistently topped lists as one of the world's worst airports. 


  1. I agree. Where the hell have these funds been going to anyway?!


  3. Parang napapagaya na ata itong website sa Hindi na yata masyadong naglalabas ng bagong balita tungkol sa Philippine aviation. Ang huling balita ay noon pang Enero 29.

  4. This website is now BORING, now just like Kung dati'y active itong website di tulad ng, ngayon ay kagaya na ng Hindi na masyadong naglalabas ng latest news. Sorry about that.

  5. Perhaps this website is now ready to close, like

  6. Bakit napagaya na itong website sa

  7. Hanggang ngayon, ito pa rin ang latest news sa inyong website? Napagaya na kayo sa ah.

  8. I have a song for you:

    Wala lang, kanta ko lang sa mga napagaya na sa iba negatively.

  9. terminal fee and travel tax should be banned period! pangdaraya lang ng mga makakapal na mukhang pera na mga pilipino

  10. NAIA ignores wireless trend, eyes wired CCTV

    POSTSCRIPT By Federico D. Pascual Jr. (The Philippine

    Star) | Updated May 18, 2014 - 12:00am

    LEAPING BACKWARD: While the administration is doing its best to pull out the Ninoy Aquino International Airport from the pit reserved for the world’s worst airports, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines controlled by generals wants to make a great leap backward.
    Among the basic needs of an airport is a reliable easy-to-maintain close circuit TV surveillance system. (Remember when a mayor and three others were shot dead at the airport but its CCTV failed to document the killing?)
    Last April, the NAIA management moved to modernize the airport’s surveillance and security system covering Terminals 1, 2 and 4, the runway, the aero-domes, perimeter fence, parking lots and access roads.
    The P486-million CCTV project is to combine wired and wireless interconnection and use similar technology installed in many international airports. But the CAAP stepped in, wanting to buck the trend by going all-wired.
    * * *
    INTERFERENCE: The bidding was cancelled, because of a letter of retired Gen. Rodante Joya, CAAP chief finance officer, saying “wireless CCTV systems cause interference with the air navigation equipment” and recommending the use of an all-wired connection for NAIA’s surveillance system.
    Opinion ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1
    That was a technical point raised by a finance man. Yet retired Gen. Vicente Guerzon, NAIA asst. general manager for security and emergency services and chairman of the bids committee, cancelled the bidding, postponing it indefinitely.
    Guerzon said: “This cancellation is brought about by the advice issued by the CAAP which will affect the specification, scope of work and budget for the contract.”
    * * *

  11. BOTHERSOME ISSUES: We asked an international consultant familiar with the technological aspects of such projects. Our discussion left us bothered by some issues:
    • Given the recommendations and researches of international aviation organizations and institutions, such as NASA, FAA, ETSI, etc., is it wise to use an all-wired system which is a “backward” technology being phased out in almost all airports in the world?
    • Wired communication and surveillance systems are very expensive to install, very costly to maintain, not adaptive to upcoming newer technology and equipment, susceptible to sabotage, pilferage and damage from future construction.
    • Wiring existing structures will entail digging, knocking down walls, crawling on ceilings, imbedding wires and cables, etc. The installation takes two to three years, versus four to six months for a wireless version.
    • The cost for an all-wired system would be double that of a wireless version, likely to jack up the project cost to more than P1 billion.
    * * *
    WIRELESS TREND: With the advancement in wireless technology, the world trend in airport system management runs contrary to CAAP’s recommendation. The expert we consulted pointed out:
    • International aviation institutions, including NASA, recommend the use of wireless RF-based interconnection, not only on surveillance systems, but also on the integration of airport operation through the SWIM (System Wide Information Management).
    • Cabled or wired systems are comparatively more expensive to install and maintain than wireless setups, and are not adaptable to Next Generation Aviation Technology System (NGATS).
    • CAAP’s concern appears to be misplaced since the effect of RF Interference on wireless aviation technology has long been addressed by respected scientific organizations. Wireless technology is now the backbone of world economy and defense systems.
    • Cell phones, Internet, GPRS, bank ATMs, satellite transmission, aviation and naval communications, Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles (UAVs), guided missiles, radars, TVs and radios, Wi-Fis, etc, all use RFs to receive and transmit data without “interference or radio splurting.”
    * * *
    INTERFERENCE-FREE BANDS: Yet CAAP’s generals claim that the International Civil Aviation Organization is against the use of radio frequency bands in aviation wireless technology. That is not true.
    Modern aviation CCTV technology is designed not to be affected by RFI through the use of pre-designated interference-free frequency band such as the RF bands used by cell phones, laptop Wi-Fi and Wi-Max, etc.
    The NAIA can easily secure from the National Telecommunications Commission an exclusive and interference-free radio frequency band to be used on the airport CCTV system. Granting it is true 5GHz band is not advisable, why not use RF bands beyond 5GHz?

  12. Today's Punto

    Cancelled bidding for P486-M NAIA project raises questions
    By Ding Cervantes

    Apr 29, 2014

    CLARK FREEPORT -- The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) management has cancelled bidding for the P486.6-million installation of a wireless closed circuit television (CCTV) system to give way to a proposal for a more costly “antiquated” wire-based system pushed by a minor official of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).

    A notice of cancellation of bidding dated last April 4 was issued by retired Maj. Gen. Vicente Guerzon Jr., chair of the NAIA Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) to 32 interested bidders for the project.

    The cancellation was reportedly based on another memorandum issued by one Arnold Balucating, officer-in-charge of CAAP’s Air Navigation Services who recommended the use of wired interconnection system instead of the original combination of fiber-optic cable and wireless connection.

    One bidder from Central Luzon, who asked not to be named for fear of reprisal, described Baculating’s proposal as “absurd” as he noted that “almost all the airports in the western world use wireless CCTV security system.”

    “Even Israel uses this (wireless) technology not only in its airport but also in its defense aerodome,” said the bidder who cited reports that NAIA is now planning to redesign the project based on Baculating’s proposal.

    The source also said “no one in his right mind would use wired radio frequency for the NAIA CCTV which can be affected by cross over radio waves. NAIA is an international airport, not an amateur radio broadcasting facility.”

    He also noted that the use and regulation of radio frequencies belong to the domain of the National Telecommunications Council, and not the CAAP. “What we cannot understand also is why NAIA gave importance to CAAP’s old-fashioned and more expensive proposal.

    We now live in the wireless age of telephones, appliances, cars and even war equipment run via wireless radio frequency,” he noted. The source also said that CAAP’s proposal would cost more as the installation of wires would require digging up and re-cementing structures that will affect NAIA operations.

    He also junked the contention that wireless systems would disrupt airport operations, as he pointed out that NAIA has been using “microwave link” in its telephone system for years now. Another bidder also said he was puzzled as to why Baculating’s memorandum was directly endorsed to NAIA by CAAP chief financial officer retired Brig. Gen. Rodante Joya and apparently bypassed CAAP director general retired Lt. Gen William Hotchkiss III.

    “And why did the chairman of the NAIA bids and awards committee entertain such memo?” the bidder also asked.


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