Affordable Air Access Alliance- OFW Sector
U.P. Clark, Clark Free Port Zone, Pampanga
Her Excellency Madame Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo
Republic of the Philippines
We hope you receive this letter in good health.
As you may very well know, our sector, the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), has been petitioning your good office since last year for the issuance of E.O. 500-B, granting pocket “open skies.” We are sure that our arguments fully convince you of the benefits that can be derived if the airport, named after your beloved father, Cong Dado, is opened for regular use of budget airlines. In fact, reports circulated that you were about to sign E.O. 500-B. However, up to now it has not been signed. Instead, the secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC), the honorable Leandro Mendoza, issued a statement saying an “Asean open skies” policy will be adopted by the Philippines. With due respect to the secretary, this is not what we asked for. From what we understand, the “Asean open skies” is limited to capital cities. This would mean the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). As everyone knows, NAIA is already bursting on the seams with the volume of aircrafts, cargoes, and passengers flying in and out of the airport. Even if NAIA 3 is finally opened, the size and facilities of our Manila airports are no longer adequate to service the volume of arriving and departing passengers and cargoes, let alone campaign for more tourists arrivals.
Good governance dictates that the common good takes paramount position above political payback. Perhaps because we are only little tax-paying citizens who must bear the pangs of loneliness in far-away countries and not privy to the going-on in the corridors of power, we could not understand by the light of us why our simple need for cheaper air access via the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) could not be granted. We are reasonable but ordinary people. We have heard the arguments of the other side. And no matter how we try to digest their arguments, they simply do not make sense. We cannot help but think that you favor those that oppose the granting of pocket open skies for Clark because you are beholden to them. Please prove us wrong.
Thank you, Madam President. We pray that the good Lord continue to provide you with good health and the discernment to finally sign E.O. 500-B.
Arnel de Guzman
4As- OFW Sector