Source: Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star)
MANILA, Philippines – Valenzuela Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian has called on officials of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport-Terminal 1 to resign for causing embarrassment to Filipinos and exposing the country to ridicule before the international community.
In a statement, Gatchalian said resignation would be an acceptable gesture of remorse.
“There’s no excuse for inefficiency and for screwing up efforts to improve the image of the Philippines,” he said.
“The primary aim of any terminal is customer satisfaction. Is that too difficult a challenge?”
Gatchalian cited admissions from officials that the P1.1-billion fund for the rehabilitation of the NAIA-1 was never used for its intended purpose. The Commission on Audit had berated the MIAA for letting the P1.1 billion go stale, he added.
Gatchalian said MIAA and NAIA-1 officials could have spared the country from embarrassment the second time if they were 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,” he said.
“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.”
Gatchalian said the Department of Transportation and Communications must appoint airport administrators who are familiar with airport management, and who are ready to face the changing needs of a rapidly expanding sector through management development and training.
“NAIA-1 is the Philippines’ flagship airport. Almost 80 percent of international carriers are still housed in the complex,” he said.
“The airport management needs to address issues and come up with ISO-standard management solutions, otherwise, we compromise the passengers’ convenience, and jeopardize the safety of the entire complex.”
Gatchalian said MIAA management failed to find a way to manage the smallest problems like traffic and parking, and passenger congestion.
“Management should understand that the problem is not only limited to infrastructure but also extends to administration,” he said.