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Running NAIA like hell by Pinoy bureaucrats!

“It’s more fun in the Philippines,” as our official and obviously catchy Tourism slogan suggests, is a slogan that has been accepted by most Filipinos who use this phrase either to promote their place or use it with a double meaning… which actually means the opposite of fun. For sure, many foreign tourists have come to our shores believing in this slogan. Domestic tourism has also increased thanks to the great fare promos done by all the airlines serving our country. Now PAL is upping the ante with flights to the Middle East, which Cebu Pacific also plans to do.

But as we all know, before you can have fun in the Philippines, you literally have to pass through the “Gates of Hell” as depicted by author Dan Brown in his latest novel, “Inferno” in order to perk up its sales. Almost every Tom, Dick and pundits have said their piece about this senseless controversy. But honestly, I don’t want to join the fray because we’d only help Mr. Brown sell his latest nonsensical book, which is equally as nonsensical as his other book, The Da Vinci Code, which for me was pure crap!

But like it or not, our international airports are the welcome mat of our country or our gates if you will, and after so many years of telling the government to fix whatever is wrong with our airports our government continues to fail miserably. What Dan Brown didn’t know is that the Philippines was once cursed by our Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon in that famous quote “I would rather see the Philippines run like hell by Filipinos rather than run like heaven by Americans.”

But before tourists can get into the still growing sex trade or trafficking, the bad traffic and see the squatter colonies in Manila and Cebu and have all that fun, they still have to pass through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) 3. After the Rotary ceremonies last Thursday were over, I took my flight back to Cebu at NAIA 3. Yes, we took a Cebu Pacific Air round trip flight even at the height of CPA’s problems in Davao City.

After checking in for our flight, I couldn’t help but notice that half their escalators were not in use and blocked to prevent passengers from using them as stairs. After having snacks in Shakey’s Pizza, my wife and I headed down towards the departure area and I noticed that the stairway was also blocked by a plant box. We had to walk all the way to the other side of the building only to find out that the other stairway there was also blocked. Finally we found the stairway at the very end of the terminal building.

As we were walking towards the departure gate, I asked the lady security guard why were the stairways blocked? She could only say that this was the decision of top management. I saw that the stairway was not under any repair or maintenance and therefore there was no apparent reason why passengers should be prevented from using those stairs.

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This is proof of the insensitivity of NAIA officials under this stupidity called “Daang Matuwid.” Hey we’re talking about the newest international airport in this country… yet they can’t even have those stairs opened to the public for their convenience? I hope that these people would honor us with a reply. Mind you, I took the precaution to take a photo of the blocked stairway in case they insist that those stairs were not blocked.

As for my Cebu Pacific Flt. No. 5J 573 we were two hours delayed and it took another hour for us to finally take off! Mind you, CPA ground staff was apologizing all afternoon over the intercom. But hearing their apologies even from Lance Gokongwei made them sound more like the boy who cried wolf! When you are making too many apologies, believe it or not, the irate passengers won’t believe you anymore! So it’s time to change strategies folks.

Perhaps NAIA officials do not realize that all airlines that suffer through numerous flight delays have found it very convenient to make apologies, while pointing the blame on the traffic congestion in NAIA. I’m sure NAIA has a closed-circuit-television (CCTV) monitors, NAIA officials should study these footages well and see the suffering of their passengers.

Our boarding gate was Gate no. 134 and the whole area was packed with waiting passengers going to Cebu on two other delayed flights and clearly there were not enough chairs for all the passengers which is why many already sat down on the floor. Since delays have become commonplace, NAIA officials should by now take the initiative to purchase even simple and cheap monobloc chairs where there are not enough chairs to have all passengers seated. But even a simple solution, NAIA officials have nothing to offer.

With so many passengers jammed-packed in only two gates, perhaps NAIA should move them in empty gates were the air-conditioning is still cold and where the seats are empty. If there’s no improvement in NAIA, then we can certainly believe that NAIA officials have taken into heart the curse of Quezon and running our premier international airport like hell by Filipinos!

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Email: vsbobita@mo-pzcom.com or vsbobita@gmail

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