Drilon thumbs down renaming of NAIA: ‘We are facing a pandemic and we are thinking of renaming an airport?’

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“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon said as he opposed the renaming of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Pilipinas.

“Many airports around the globe are named after heroes and individuals whose lives shaped the history of their countries,” said Drilon, citing the JFK Airport in New York, Louis Armstrong international Airport in New Orleans, Paris’ Charles De Gaulle Airport, India’s Indira Gandhi Airport, Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport, and Canada’s Montreal-Pierre Elliot Trudeau Airport,among others.

“There is more to it than just a name. It gives a glimpse of who we are as a people. We are known as a democracy-loving people because that is what Ninoy Aquino represents,” Drilon said.

“Every visitor who arrives at our airport will see us like Ninoy Aquino who showed great respect for democracy and freedom. We should not forget that and belittle his contributions to the country by taking away the honor of being the face of our major airport,” he added.

A bill was filed in the House of Representatives that seeks to rename the country’s main airport to Paliparang Pandaigid ng Pilipinas.

“We are facing a pandemic and we are thinking of renaming an airport? I believe we can do better than that,” Drilon said.

“Ilang milyong Pilipino ang nawalan ng trabaho. Tapos pagpalit ng pangalan ng NAIA ang priority?” he asked.

The move, according to Drilon, is “divisive,” which the country needs the least in this time of a pandemic that affected the lives of too many Filipinos and put the economy to a standstill.

The minority leader said that any effort to rename NAIA would always be seen as political. Thus, he said such a proposition should be put on hold.

“We are in a crisis and we owe it to every Filipino to avoid a situation that will create division rather than invite unity and cooperation,” Drilon said. SENATE.GOV.PH