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Drilon on renaming NAIA: 'Leave NAIA alone'

July 06, 2022 - Wednesday 7:07 PM by Ruscelle Ureta

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Former Senator Franklin Drilon may be out of politics. Still, he has a scathing commentary on those trying to rename the country's main airport Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), after the father of newly sworn-in President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

The former senator believes renaming the airport does not align with Marcos's admin's call for unity. He added the proposed bill was "divisive, reeks of politics, and ill-timed."
 
"I would like to believe that the incoming 19th Congress has more urgent things to do than to rename an airport, such as how to arrest inflation and address the surging oil prices," Drilon said in a statement on Wednesday.
 
 "There is no compelling reason to change the name of NAIA. Any proposal to rename NAIA will always be seen as political and divisive," Drilon added.
 
"This obvious attempt for ingratiation is actually a disfavor to President Marcos Jr. It will not augur well with the call for unity of the Marcos administration," he said.
 
“Leave NAIA alone,” Drilon stressed.
 
Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves filed House Bill 610 renaming the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to Ferdinand E. Marcos International Airport. 
 
According to Drilon, the new Congress should focus on the learning poverty of the Philippines, which in 2020 is at 90% based on the World Bank study.
 
"I hope the 19th Congress will focus on these critical areas, most especially the terrible state of our education system," said Drilon as he noted a World Bank study which found out that 9 out of 10 Filipino kids aged 10 could not read.
 
Drilon said the country's score is alarming. In the said report, the Philippines joined Ethiopia at 90.3%, Madagascar at 96.7%, Yemen at 94.7%, and Afghanistan at 93.4% with the worst learning poverty.
 
"This should be the main priority of this administration and the 19th Congress along with reviving the economy and addressing inflation, not renaming NAIA," Drilon said.

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