The flies of Silay-A A +A
Friday, September 21, 2012
IT’S anything but fun to be at the Bacolod-Silay Airport. A Wifi connection that doesn't connect. And worse, the company of fly carriers went with the company of flies. How could airport authorities let the darn flies have a run of the place?
I was there almost the whole day with the wife last Sunday for a trip to Manila. I goofed. We both failed to double check our ticket, which I thought would be in the morning. It turned that our flight would be in the afternoon.
So we had to stay at the airport the whole day, cussin' and flicking at the flies who feel at home at the check-in counters, in the pre-departure lounge and in the snack bars.
So why are the airport authorities putting up with the flies? They don't, they insisted. According to the Cebu Pacific security officer, airport management has used all kinds of chemical pesticides, which proved to be ineffective against the flies.
They blamed the unnamed poultry(ies), which is/are harvesting the chickens. What exactly "harvesting" means was unclear. My guess is that the poultry owners are slaughtering and dressing the chickens, which I assumed would attract the flies and other insects.
The opening of Masskara is just around the corner. The poultry owners are expected to make a killing when they provide stall owners with the well-known chicken inasal. We can expect more flies to converge at the Silay airport. The old Bacolod airport never had this kind of situation.
The issue probably is bigger than what the airport authorities can handle. We texted our environmental friend Ediltrudis Delia "Duds" Locsin whose son, Popeye Locsin, is a Silay councilor.
The reply was, as I expected, an apology. I heard that song-and-dance before but I can't accept an apology if the problem persists.
To think the Bacolod-Silay Airport charges outbound passengers P200 for boarding passes. Is that their way of saying passengers should pay for the dubious privilege to be in the company of flies?
By the way, what are the DENR or the Department of Health doing to address these issues with poultries? The presence of flies is of course an environmental and a sanitary problem. It's unhealthy to be at the Bacolod-Silay Airport.
Contaminants from animal wastes from intensive poultries can enter the environment through poorly-constructed manure lagoons or overflows during the rainy season. Runoffs can leach through permeable soils to vulnerable aquifers that tap ground water sources for human consumption.
Many contaminants are present in livestock wastes, including nutrients, pathogens, veterinary pharmaceuticals and naturally excreted hormones. Passengers are warned not to drink from the faucets. We have to drink from bottled water which costs an arm-and-a-leg.
Exposure to waterborne contaminants can result from both recreational use of affected surface water and from ingestion of drinking water derived from either contaminated surface water or ground water.
At risk among the passengers are the kids, senior citizens, pregnant women, and immune-compromised individuals. Skin contact may cause skin, eye, or ear infections. Drinking water exposures to pathogens could occur in vulnerable deep wells.
Truly, the Bacolod Silay Airport is a class act of its own. It's incomparable. The only airport I've seen where time really flies-with flies. At least, if Negros Occidental can't attract tourists, our so-called international airport can always entice the flies.
But why that's supposed to be fun, I'll leave it to the airport authorities, the Silay LGU and the DENR to explain. Please email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on September 21, 2012.