BACOLOD

Lawmaker: Airport execs should quit over 'worst airport tag'

(UPDATED) A member of Congress called for the resignation of the managers of Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 following the "world's worst air terminal" label on the 30-year-old airport again.

Valenzuela Representative Sherwin Gatchalian said MIAA and NAIA managers should quit their posts out of delicadeza for causing the country great embarrassment and ridicule to the world.

"There's no excuse for inefficiency and for screwing up efforts to improve the image of the Philippines. Resignation would be an acceptable gesture of remorse," Gatchalian said.

"Management should understand that the problem is not only limited to infrastructure but also extends to administration," he added.

According to the travel blog “The Guide to Sleeping in Airports” (www.sleepinginairports.net), the terminal 1 of NAIA named after the father of President Benigno Aquino III is the worst airport based on comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.

"Most other countries will at least try to do their best to make their main international airport look at least a bit presentable, realizing that it's the main gateway for foreign visitors into and out of the country but at this airport everything seems to have been done to make the experience as horrible as possible," a comment posted on the blog said.

Gatchalian said MIAA and NAIA-1 could have spared the country from further embarrassment if management was judicious enough in using up its funds.

"If NAIA-1 has the budget, then there is no reason for the airport to regress and open itself to bad publicity. They have the money, but obviously they failed to efficiently manage the full spectrum of airport and aviation system operations. It's more of a management, or clearly, a mismanagement issue," the neophyte lawmaker said.

In 2011, then Transportation and Communications Secretary Manuel Roxas II earlier said President Benigno Aquino III had approved the planned P1.1 billion rehabilitation program on NAIA Terminal 1.

In a report this week, NAIA Terminal 1 manager Dante Basanta said the rehabilitation program will begin only in December of this year. (Sunnex)
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