MANILA, Philippines, June 26 ------ Three House lawmakers on Thursday filed a bill renaming the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to the "Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Pilipinas." On Thursday, Reps. Paolo Duterte (Davao 1st District) Lord Allan Velasco (Marinduque) and Eric Yap (ACT-CIS Party-list) filed House Bill No. 7031, renaming the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Pilipinas.
In a joint statement issued Thursday, the presidential son said: “We need a more representative branding for the international gateway of our country, thus our proposal renaming NAIA to the Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Pilipinas." "Aside from it bearing our country's name, it is in our national language. We want it to reflect the legacy of the Filipino people, our everyday heroes. The name bears no color, no political agenda. It only signifies our warmth as Filipinos in welcoming our own kababayans and foreign visitors," he added.
For his part, Yap said: “We want for the name of our country to be the first thing welcoming the return to our countrymen as well as tourists from abroad when their planes land. We want to make them feel like they are home. There are many personalities who also deserve their name, institution, and so on. But when it comes to our airport, it should reflect the country and the Filipino people." As of this publishing, there have been 33,069 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the country. The death toll of the virus stands at 1,212.
The airport, then called the Manila International Airport, was renamed to Ninoy Aquino International Airport in 1987 by virtue of Republic Act No. 6639. In 2018, lawyer Larry Gadon filed a petition addressed to the Office of the President and the House of Representatives calling for NAIA to be renamed back to the "Manila International Airport." He called the former president a traitor to the country and was slammed by Teodoro "Teddyboy" Locsin Jr., who was the country's representative to the United Nations at the time.
“This proposal aims to reposition the Philippines as a choice tourist destination as we prepare to reopen the country to travelers once the pandemic is over. Renaming it to Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Pilipinas will not only benefit and bolster our brand as a destination hub, but will also strengthen the country’s identity,” Velasco said. "I am confident that by doing so, it will provide us a competitive edge as our neighbors open their doors, too, to visitors. Changing the name of NAIA to Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Pilipinas gives every Filipino a great sense of pride and ownership of the country’s biggest and largest international airport."