The Civil Aeronautics Board vehemently denied that it is under “regulatory capture.”
It demanded that the Senate hear its side on the the allegation by Sec. Romy Neri that it is under such state during his recent testimony over the ZTE scandal.
Well, if it is true that it is not in such straight jacket, I dare the CAB to declare its support to the “open skies” regime within 24 hours.
The proposal of Davao City for a pocket open skies has been gathering dust for the past four years at Malacanang due to the inaction and opposition of CAB. The application of Viva Macau to fly to Davao is also sleeping at the CAB for over a year now. About half a dozen other foreign airlines are likewise lining up at the closed doors of CAB waiting developments when they can fly to Davao.
The whole trouble with CAB is it equates the interest of some local carriers as the interest of the nation. It has been said many times that one key reason why Philippine tourism is a laggard is the lack of airline seats and yet CAB does not see this reality. It prefers not to level the playing field in its protectionist game at the expense of consumers, tourists and OFWs in particular.
I agree with Neri that it is a captured agency utilizing its regulatory powers to promote the selfish interest of the few.