Climaco seeks House support to improve Zambo airport security facilities
ZAMBOANGA CITY, August 11, 2010 – Zamboanga City Representative Ma. Isabel Climaco on Monday brought to the attention of her colleagues in the House of Representatives the poor condition of the Zamboanga International Airport due to neglect and disregard by concerned national government agencies.
Her six-page privilege speech focused on the need of immediate major upgrade of the Zamboanga airport, which has been in the news since August 5 following the blast that killed two persons and injured over 20 others.
“What is clearly evident is that our airport facilities, an international airport that serves as the gateway to what is touted as one of Southeast Asia’s fastest growing business and cultural hubs and the entryway to the entire Western Mindanao region, needs a major upgrade and improvement of its facilities” the congresswoman, who is the House Deputy Speaker for Mindanao, said.
Climaco described the bombing incident as a “dastardly and cowardly act, brazenly perpetrated in what was thought to be a tightly guarded infrastructure in Zamboanga City…”
She admitted, “While it is true that no level of security can ever prevent a determined terrorist from sowing terror into the hearts of the innocent, I firmly believe that this should not serve as an excuse for us to sit idly and watch as our people repeatedly suffer in the hands of the malevolent.”
Climaco lamented the inadequacy of the Zamboanga airport’s facilities compared to some of the modern airports in the country today.
“As such, I feel this urgent and imperative need to make this privilege speech, not just to condemn in the strongest possible terms the commission of such callous, cold-blooded, and merciless deed, but [also] to bring to the forefront of national attention the dire and urgent need to address the serious concerns of our airport facilities in the city of Zamboanga,” she said.
Climaco enumerated some of the needs of the airport: proper maintenance of airport facilities; sufficient supply of toilet paper and water; replacement of the airport conveyor belt; upgrading of security and monitoring equipment; putting up of secured perimeter fence around the airport; and the return of the Civil Aviation Administration of the Philippines (CAAP) Regional Office to Zamboanga City.
Climaco also read to the House the list of unfunded projects that the Zamboanga airport manager has provided her, which includes lighting equipment and security facilities aimed to improve and enhance security.
According to Climaco, the management of the Zamboanga airport has been transferred from the Department of Transportation and Communications to the CAAP.
Also, she observed, that the terminal fees collected by the airport authority from departing passengers are remitted directly to the national treasury and that the airport authority simply makes use with whatever funds are appropriated for them.
“I believe this is partly the cause for the sorry state of our airport, which is absolutely disadvantageous to the people of Zamboanga. In this regard, there is a need to review the existing management structure and funding process for the Zamboanga City International Airport that would result in a more streamlined, efficient, and fiscally balanced operations,” she said.