Cauguiran lauds House panel’s okay renaming Clark airport to DMIA

CLARK FREEPORT – Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) president Alex Cauguiran lauded members of the committee on transportation of the House of Representatives on Wednesday for approving two bills proposing to rename the Clark International Airport to Diosdado Macapagal International Airport.

“We are grateful to the authors of the proposed bills and the panel members for honoring the late great President of the republic,” Cauguiran said at the sidelines after the committee unanimously approved the proposals.

Cauguiran was invited by the House panel as resource speaker during the hearing on House Bill Nos. 2274 and 8289.

In his opening remarks, committee chair and Catanduanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento said the proposed measures were supported by the provincial government of Pampanga and the Pampangueños for “institutionalizing the old name of the airport in honor of the former President and his accomplishments and contributions to the country.”

Prior to the conduct of the said hearing, separate resolutions from the local government units of Angeles City and Mabalacat City seeking to rename Clark airport were passed.

Pampanga 3rd District Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales Jr. filed HB 2274, while House Majority Leader and Camarines Sur 1st District Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr., Sagip Rep. Rodante Marcoleta, Pampanga 1st District Rep. Carmelo Lazatin II, and Bohol 3rd District Rep. Arthur Yap filed the second bill.

Macapagal was the ninth president of the Philippines and the first Kapampangan chief executive of the republic.

Clark airport used to be part of the former Clark Air Base of the United States Air Force until its closure in 1991.

By virtue of Republic Act 7227, or the Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992, former President Fidel Ramos converted it into Clark Special Economic Zone and established CIAC to manage it.

“Renaming Clark airport to Diosdado Macapagal is consistent with the guideline of the National Historical Commission which says the renaming of public structures already named after presidents or national heroes cannot be replaced with names of people of lesser importance,” Cauguiran said.

The Air Base was named in honor of Major Harold Clark of the US Army Signal Corps who died in a seaplane in the Panama Canal in 1919.

Cauguiran added the Board of Directors of the Clark Development Corporation in 2001 already renamed Clark airport to DMIA but was reverted to the name Clark during the Aquino administration.

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