Presidential son and Deputy Speaker Paolo Duterte along with two other lawmakers filed a bill to rename the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Pasay City to Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Pilipinas.
ACT-CIS party-list Representative Eric Yap and Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco filed House Bill 7031 with Duterte. The bill came from the need for a more representative name and brand for the Philippines’ largest international airport.
According to the explanatory note, the proposed name carries the word “Philippines” and is also in the country’s national language.
In a report on GMA News, Duterte said this name would reflect the legacy of the Filipino people, as “the name bears no color, no political agenda. It only signifies our warmth as Filipinos in welcoming our own kababayans and foreign visitors.”
Velasco, on the other hand, thought that the proposed name would boost the Philippines’ reputation as a top spot for tourists.
“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,” he said.
For Yap, it’s mostly for the Filipinos, balikbayans, and foreign tourists to see the country’s name right away when they land.
"Marami naman na personalidad na karapat-dapat rin na sa kanila ipangalan ang institusyon, daan, at iba pa. Pero pagdating sa ating paliparan, dapat ay sumalamin ito sa bansa at sa sambayanang Pilipino," he said.
Previously, NAIA was called the Manila International Airport, but it was changed to NAIA on December 10, 1987 via Republic Act 6639, which honors former Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. who was assassinated at the very same airport.
His assassination led to numerous protests, which eventually escalated into the first EDSA People Power Revolution in 1986. At this time, the Marcos family fled to Hawaii and Aquino’s wife, Corazon Aquino, became president.