President Benigno Aquino III has issued two executive orders reorganizing the Philippine air panels and allowing them to pursue the administration’s international civil aviation liberalization policy, Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. said on Thursday.
“These executive orders reaffirm the President’s commitment to pursue policies that will promote tourism and spur investment in the country,” Ochoa said.
“Our goal is also to provide a competitive environment for the airline industry by allowing foreign airlines to come in. More airlines mean more choices for flyers, and, consequently, lower fares and better services to entice the flying public,” Ochoa added.
Executive Order No. 28 creates the Philippine Air Negotiating Panel (PANP) and the Philippine Air Consultation Panel (PACP); and Executive Order No. 29 authorizes the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) and the two panels to explore discussions with foreign carriers.
He said that granting third, fourth and fifth freedom rights as well as unrestricted capacities and frequencies to foreign air carriers, among others, through the liberalization policy in international aviation, will enhance the competitiveness of Philippine domestic carriers considering that the Philippines is under Category 2 of the US Federal Aviation Administration and the European Union.
A Category 2 status means that the
EO 29, on the other hand, provides guidelines to the two Philippine air panels in the negotiation of Air Services Agreements (ASAs).
It said the PACP and the PANP, to be collectively known as the Philippine Air Panels, should put forward the following in the negotiations:
·The need to promote domestic tourism by providing travelers more and varied choices of access to the
·The need to promote investment, trade and employment generation in the
·The need to spur competition in the
·The need to enhance competitiveness of Philippine domestic carriers.
EO 29 allows the PANP to offer and promote third, fourth, and fifth freedom rights to the country’s airports other than the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) without restriction as to frequency, capacity and type of aircraft, and other arrangements that will serve the national interest as may be determined by the CAB.
Under EO 29, the CAB may grant foreign air carriers increases in flight frequencies and/or capacities in the country’s airports other than NAIA, subject to conditions required by existing laws, rules and regulations, and approval of the President, notwithstanding the provisions of the relevant ASAs.
However, EO 29 prohibits CAB from granting any foreign air carriers Cabotage traffic rights of any kind such as the right to transport passengers and goods between two or more points within the
“By empowering the CAB to allow foreign airlines to fly directly to airports other than the NAIA, the government hopes to encourage these airlines to fly to other destinations in the country and make it easier for foreign guests to visit the archipelago’s top tourist attractions,” Ochoa said.