Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Arroyo restoring open-skies policy in Clark, Subic airports

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is expected to sign an executive order that will restore the open skies policy in Subic and Clark within the next few days, Economic Planning Secretary Romulo Neri said yesterday.

“It is ready for signing,” said Neri, adding that Executive Order No. 500-B would likely be signed after President Arroyo’s arrival from a five-day visit to New Zealand and Australia.

The National Economic and Development Authority, which is headed by Neri, and the Subic-Clark Alliance for Development Council have been pushing for the restoration of open skies in Subic and Clark, after the Civil Aeronautics Board restricted the flights of foreign budget carriers in the two former American military bases in Central Luzon, now regarded as the country’s main logistics hub.

Neri said EO 500-B, which seeks to restore the open skies provision of the original EO 500 declaring air access to the Subic and Clark as developmental routes, would result in increased international visitor arrivals in the country and generate employment for thousands of Filipinos.

“We must cut loose from policies that distort market competition. They simply raise the cost of doing business, and deter investments and job creation,” Neri said. “We need a pro-market regulatory environment, which dismantles regulatory capture, to support a high growth.”

The National Competitiveness Council Infrastructure Group, headed by businessman Meneleo Carlos Jr. and economist Enrico Basilio, earlier wrote a letter asking Mrs. Arroyo to issue EO 500-B. They said the executive order would address the need for a stable environment in promoting government’s vision for providing better service to Filipino workers overseas and developing Subic-Clark as a tourism gateway and logistics hub.
By Roderick T. dela Cruz - Manila Standard Today

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