Germans, Filippinos amend ties over airport dispute

The Philippine government has admitted that a legal dispute with a German company over a new air terminal in Manila has tainted the country’s international image as a tourist destination. According to the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs, in order to counter the “negative surveys on the attractiveness of the Philippines,” Philippine ambassador to Germany Delia Domingo- Albert has proposed to set up a Philippine center in Berlin to improve the image of the country, local newspaper Philippine Daily Inquirer reported on its website on Thursday.

In her report to the Department of Foreign Affairs earlier this month, Delia said the issue of Ninoy Aquino International Airport- Terminal 3 involving the German contractor Fraport AG and the Philippine government was causing a shadow on Philippine-German economic relations.

Fraport AG was part of a consortium which also included the Philippine International Airport Terminals Co. (PIATco) in charge of building the new terminal.

But the Philippine government refused to pay the Fraport AG after President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declared that the contract signed during the term of her predecessor President Joseph Estrada was anomalous.

The government took the terminal at the end of 2004 but so far has no timetable as for when to put it into use, the report said.