Monday, March 14, 2011

Aquino allows CAAP head to appoint personnel

No place like home

President Benigno Aquino III has authorized the director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) to appoint personnel and fill up vacancies in the agency to hasten efforts to reinstate the Philippines' civil aviation system in the Category I status.

Aquino, issuing Administrative Order No. 7 last March 3, said the CAAP director general is now authorized to appoint personnel to positions with Salary Grade 26 level and below, and job levels 21 and below.

Aquino noted that Republic Act No. 9497, which created the CAAP, provides that the agency’s director general shall be appointed by the President, but there was no mention on who shall appoint the other personnel and employees of the CAAP.

“There is a necessity to appoint forthwith the employees and personnel of CAAP in order to expedite reversion of the Philippine Civil Aviation to Category 1 status," the AO read.

Aquino, during his visit to the Filipino community in Indonesia last week, stressed the importance of upgrading the Philippines’ aviation status especially at the heels of reviving the selected open skies policy in the country.

He said he wants more tourist arrivals in the Philippines, which he hopes would be possible with the entry of other airlines. 

About 3.5 million tourists arrived in the Philippines in 2010, government records show.

Aquino said gunning more tourist arrivals will be difficult while the Philippines is still in the United States FAA Category 2 level, noting that the downgrade had resulted in the country’s carriers limited flights to selected parts of the US and being blacklisted in the European Union-member countries.

He said to address the downgrade, the Air Transportation Office was abolished and replaced with the CAAP in 2007. However, since its creation ATO has yet to transfer all its paper works, resources and functions to CAAP until now. 

Neha Jain

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