Monday, April 11, 2011


As an organization committed to expanding economic freedom in the country, the Foundation for Economic Freedom hailed the issuance by President Benigno Aquino III of E.O. 29 implementing an “open skies” policy.

E.O. 29 or the Executive Order “Authorizing the Civil Aeronautics Board and the Philippine Air Panels to Pursue More Aggressively the International Civil Aviation Policy” gives secondary gateways the opportunity to be connected to international and local markets and bring tourists and investors directly to destinations such as Clark, Laoag, Cebu, Davao, Puerto Princesa and others.

FEF said that liberalizing civil aviation will increase seat capacity and bring in more tourists and business travelers, thereby spurring job and income growth, especially in the countryside. The benefits of tourism-related growth will trickle down to handicraft suppliers, hotels and restaurants, transportation companies, and the like, FEF said.

FEF dismissed the objections of critics of the “open skies” policy, stating that reciprocity should not be defined by the access of local airlines to foreign markets, but should also cover the benefits that will accrue to the country as a whole. Besides, said FEF, access to the Philippines should not be held hostage to the plane capacities of local airlines. The overall interest of the country should prevail, FEF said.

The path of more economic freedom is the path to faster economic growth, the FEF said. “Open skies” policy is a movement toward greater economic freedom and is a good signal from the Aquino administration that the country is “open for business.”

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