SB backs open sky policy to attract tourists

SPEAKER Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said he is supporting the proposal to allow foreign carriers to enter the country but only in selected tourist destinations.

“We should allow foreign airlines to enter the country but only in selected tourist destinations and other sites that will be developed as tourists’ hubs later on,” Belmonte said.

“The open sky policy doesn’t mean that any foreign carriers can fly to any part of the Philippines. They will be allowed only to enter Philippine skies in partnership with local airlines like the Philippine Airlines or Cebu Pacific, and others,” he added.

Belmonte said constitutional restrictions limit foreign ownership in transportation companies, which have congressional franchises up to 40 percent.

“Due to prohibition, partnering with local entities is the only way for foreign groups to gain a foothold in the local industry,” he added.

Belmonte said foreign airlines can take advantage of expanding other routes to the country like Manila and Cebu. He said that by allowing foreign carriers to fly direct to some tourist destinations, foreign visitors do not need to spend more for connecting flights to get to their destinations. D’Jay Lazaro

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