De Lima wants Senate probe into P178-million loss of PH aerospace agency

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Leila de Lima has filed a resolution seeking a Senate investigation into the mounting losses of the Philippine Aerospace Development Corporation (PADC), as the agency's very existence continues to be questioned by different groups.

“If PADC’s services are better provided by private entities, there is no reason to waste taxpayers’ money to fund an office that is no longer needed,” De Lima said.

The PADC was created in 1973 as an overarching agency for the innovation of the aviation and aerospace industry, both public and private.

However the Commission on Audit (COA) said it has been incurring losses for the past years, which reached P178 million in 2018.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, an ex-officio member of the Governance Commission for Government-Owned or Controlled Corporations (GCG), had also noted that the PADC was not able to design a single plane for the past 45 years.

The PADC has been grappling with financial issues such as a long standing dispute with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). Poor maintenance of its facilities had disabled the agency in performing its core functions, such that its main source of income was leasing its hangars to Cebu Pacific.

"PADC is no longer performing its core mandate, which warrants a comprehensive review of its structure, policies, financial capability and business market to determine the sustainability and economic viability of its continued existence," the COA said in its 2018 audit report.

Since PADC was created by a presidential decree, De Lima said Congress has the power to decide whether to keep an agency that seems to be wasting government funds.

“The PADC’s inability to manage its mandated responsibilities has gravely tainted its governance, thus resulting to zero outputs from aimed activities or projects, which if implemented adeptly could have profited our economic growth,” De Lima said.

President Rodrigo Duterte transferred the PADC from the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to the Department of National Defense (DND), but De Lima said it still did not "justify the costs attained by the Corporation for the previous years.” –