LEYTE Rep. Yedda Romualdez yesterday said “the Tacloban airport will do its part to address the worsening air traffic congestion in Metro Manila. “We are very glad to contribute,” she added.
This developed after Transportation Sec. Arthur Tugade told a Senate hearing last Wednesday that the three airlines -- Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, and Air Asia -- agreed to transfer all Tacloban-Manila flights to Clark.
While expressing support to the initiative to find solution to the traffic congestion at Manila airport, Romualdez said some of Cebu and Davao flights should also be diverted to Clark International Airport in Pampanga.
“We are very glad to share, but I believe all major cities whose flights volume are higher than Tacloban City should also do their part. Marami ring Ilocano from Davao City na gustong bumaba sa Clark Airport para mas mabilis silang makauwi at makaiwas sa traffic sa Metro Manila,” said Romualdez, wife of former House Independent Bloc Leader and ex-Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, also president of the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa) and Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD).
Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone, a member of the ruling of the Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), said the 14-lawmaker Eastern Visayas Bloc vehemently opposes the supposed “anti-poor” plan of the DoTr to divert Tacloban Manila flights to Clark International Airport in Pampanga as this would bring inconvenience to the people in Region VIII, kill tourism and business industry.
“The Eastern Visayas Bloc in Congress strongly opposes the plan of DoTr to transfer all Tacloban flights to Clark. This will not only bring inconvenience to our constituents but would kill tourism and other business industry in the region,” Evardone said.
“This plan of DoTr is anti-poor and anti-people. This will aggravate the poor condition of Eastern Visayas. DOTr should study carefully this plan to make sure its viability and protect the interests of our constituents,” Evardone pointed out.
Evardone said the 14-man Eastern Visayas Bloc is composed of 12 regular district congressmen of Leyte, Samar provinces, Biliran and Southern Leyte, and two party-list groups -- An Waray and A-Angat Tayo.
He also questioned why the DoTr is only looking at Tacloban City when there are many airports in the country that contribute to the air traffic problem at the NAIA.
He urged to NAIA to instead divert to Clark Airport all international flights instead of harming local tourism.