Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 (PNA photo by Cristina Arayata)

MANILA – The national government should think long and hard the suggestion to sell the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Senator Imee Marcos cited other countries that have modern airports but still maintain the old ones.

"Kung papansinin natin, ‘yung London, may Heathrow na siya at Gatwick (If you notice, London has Heathrow and Gatwick) which are among the busiest airports in the world. Ngunit nanatili pa rin ‘yung (But it retained the) London City Airport for emergency, state occasions, and other military purposes," she said during her guesting in the A.S.P.N. (Ano Sa Palagay N'yo) program of Net 25 on Monday.

Marcos also mentioned Singapore where Seletar International Airport coexists with Changi International Airport, which is often named among the top five in the world.

"Kailangang pag-aralan ng maigi (It should be studied thoroughly). Maybe we should keep certain parts. The rest, you can sell. I think the more nuanced approach to this kind of problem is required kasi hindi naman pwedeng (because we cannot allow) wholesale. Kailangan siguro, isip-isipin tapos dahan-dahan (Maybe, it should be thought of carefully)," she added.

Outgoing Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez earlier suggested in an interview that the incoming administration of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. may consider selling NAIA to generate money to repay ballooning debts due to the Covid-19 response.

Dominguez said there are still the Clark International Airport and the New Manila International Airport under construction in Bulakan, Bulacan.

“We had thought about that since 2016. But we have to see first how the development of the alternative to NAIA is developing,” he said after unveiling DOF's proposed fiscal consolidation plan to the next administration.

The proposal contains a set of measures aimed to generate an annual average of nearly PHP350 billion per year from 2023 to 2027 to help the country outgrow its debt at a faster rate.

The 646-hectare NAIA airport complex is roughly 2.5 times the size of Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, which might earn the government around PHP2 trillion if sold as suggested by Ramon Ang, the president and chief executive officer of Top Frontier Investment Holdings, Inc., the largest shareholder of San Miguel Corporation which is developing the Bulacan airport. (PNA)