Press Release
January 31, 2010


Senate Public Services Committee Chairman Bong Revilla directed the officials of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) to explain why the Philippines still flunked in the latest findings by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

The senator, who is also the chairman of Congressional Oversight Committee on CAAP, reminded Ruben Ciron, CAAP director general, that the office was created primarily to strengthen the framework of the country's civil aviation industry by meeting the standards of the ICAO. "We are relying heavily on CAAP on upgrading our civil aviation systems to satisfying the ICAO standards," he said, adding that the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has downgraded the Philippines from Category 1 to Category 2 status. As a result, it prohibits the Philippine carriers from mounting new flights to and from the United States.

In 1995, the Philippines failed in FAA audit after the latter noted that the country fell short in sustaining the level of safety aviation standards based on the ICAO's prescribed rules. The same was repeated in 2007.

"We cannot afford to fail again. Following that is the negative travel advisories to the Philippines. It will have economic consequences in our country. The hundreds of thousands of jobs created by tourism and investments will be hampered," the lawmaker commented.

Revilla expressed concern on the Significant Safety Concern (SSC) findings by ICAO, which underscored the need to hire and recruit more qualified technical personnel (QTP) - one of the eight critical elements of aviation safety oversight. "Should we fail to get adequate QTPs, the FAA may again flunk us when they visit us here on March," he warned.

In 2008, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed into law the Civil Aviation Authority Act of the Philippines or Republic Act (RA) 9497, which abolished the Air Transportation Office (ATO) and replaced by the CAAP - an independent body that would regulate air transportation and services in the country.

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