Press Releases

Salceda on NAIA privatization and its role in making NCR more livable

September 16th, 2022

The best time to privatize NAIA was yesterday. It is a major source of congestion in the South. It has also restricted plenty of efficient development due to the air clearance restrictions in the vicinity. Good, walkable, and accessible cities work best when habitation and commerce goes vertical. The air restrictions in the NAIA vicinity have limited buildings to around ten storeys, in the narrowing portion of NCR at that.

That said, the next best thing is to begin the process of awarding and eventually implementing redevelopment. SPIA will address the problem of Clark and Bulacan being too far from citizens of the South of Manila Area (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas). So, we will have airports North of Manila and South of Manila.

Ideally, what we should do next is to do transport-oriented planning and development around what to do with the NAIA real estate. With a train system or a BRT going directly through NAIA, for example, it becomes possible to link the Bay Area directly with BGC from West to East. A lot of the logistics hubs down south will benefit from that.

You can also divert plenty of traffic by bisecting NAIA from North to South to directly connect Baclaran and FTI via public transport. That would allow you to connect the FTI and Merville area to LRT 1 since the LRTA depot is already there. That could be an entire LRT 1 – spur line. So many of the car-going subdivision residents suddenly have an option to commute directly from home, so that will help decongest traffic in the South.

Underneath NAIA, you can also build plenty of water catchment, the same type they did with the UST grounds, so that could address flooding down South.

The revenues from NAIA privatization can be optimized to make our military and uniformed personnel pension more sustainable, so that we don’t draw from the national budget all the time and all throughout. That will follow the BCDA model, which uses proceeds for AFP modernization.

The point is, NAIA should have long been closed down in favor of better-placed airports. But, its coming redevelopment should prioritize making NCR a more livable metropolis, and should not be just another cause of traffic and congestion.

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