IT WILL still be named Mactan- Cebu International Airport.
Rep. Pablo John “PJ” Garcia (Cebu, 3rd) clarified this after news items in some local dailies claimed that House Bill 8986, approved on third reading before Congress went on recess on March 18, seeks to rename the airport to Lapulapu International Airport.
Garcia said the bill merely seeks to name the domestic and international terminals of the airport to Lapulapu Domestic Terminal and Lapulapu International Terminal, while retaining the name Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) for the entire facility itself.
He added that this is a substitute bill following a compromise brokered by Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and Committee on Transportation Chairman Rep. Edgar Sarmiento (Samar, 1st District) between the proponents, led by Rep. Paz Radaza of Lapu-Lapu City, and the opponents of the bill, led by Garcia.
“The bill follows the LAX model where the airport is named Los Angeles International Airport while its major terminal is named Tom Bradley International Terminal,” Garcia said.
The airport itself, which includes the land area, runway, towers and other facilities, will remain to be known as MCIA.
The terminal building, which is part of the airport, will be renamed the Lapulapu Domestic and International Terminals.
Garcia had earlier opposed the original bill, authored by Radaza, which sought to rename the airport to Lapulapu International Airport. It disregarded, he said, not only decades of history, but also millions of pesos in marketing expenses to sell the airport as MCIA.
“This substitute bill accommodates our objections to the bill while fulfilling the more important objective of honoring Lapulapu on the 500th year of the Battle of Mactan,” Garcia said.
He thanked Velasco and Sarmiento for initiating, and Radaza for accepting, a “win-win solution that satisfies all parties.”
In a separate interview, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan welcomed the development, adding that Congress’ move is “timely” especially with the country celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Mactan.
President Rodrigo Duterte is set to visit Lapu-Lapu City on April 27 to witness the 500th year commemoration of Lapulapu’s victory.
“We are thankful for this honor given to our city and to our city’s namesake,” Chan told Superbalita Cebu. (GCM, PR / JKV)