Saturday, October 23, 2010

RP to benefit from better aviation infrastructure

THE Speaker of the House of Representatives has urged the Aquino government on Friday to improve aviation and tourist infrastructure in the country before discussing proposals to implement open skies policy to foreign carriers.
In an interview with reporters, Belmonte said that modernization of the country’s air tourism and transport infrastructure might be among the government’s targets that would make the country more competitive.

“I believe that hardly anybody flies to the Philippines anymore and I think it is the whole system, not only open skies, that should be considered to make us more competitive,” Belmonte said.

Belmonte said that Malaysia is now the main tourist destination in Asia, not because it offers better tourism centers but mainly because of its modern and latest facilities for visitors.

“We can’t just say that we have better and more beautiful beaches than our neighbors,” he stressed.

Belmonte is convinced that the Aquino government’s public-private partnership should cover the construction of much-needed infrastructure to make the Philippines more enticing to tourists and investors.

When asked if the Lower Congress would include the proposed open skies policy, the House speaker suggested a thorough legal study to determine whether it would be the executive or the legislative department that should start the crafting of policies to liberate the country’s air space.

Some countries have resorted to open skies in commercial aviation to liberalize rules for international aviation and limit government intervention, thereby improving foreign trade and tourism.

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