Sen. Grace Poe, the chair of the Senate public services committee, filed a resolution for a full investigation into an “apparent and seeming broken systems of regulations”following the recent runway mishap at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
According to Poe, the incident, has led to “airport paralysis and affected thousands of passengers and substantial flight cancellations which should not happen to rendering basic public services.”
In her Senate Resolution 852 for the purpose of reviewing airport operations and management, assessing tourism, economic and investment impacts, as well as protecting the interest of passengers and the country, Poe said, “Don’t we have the protocols, needed equipment and manpower to address these kinds of incident? Do we really need at least 36 hours or [a day and a half] to clear our runways?”
The Senator noted that passengers have been complaining on the social media for not being attended on their rebooking requests despite of its urgency as airline ticketing counters have been closed. Some were not even given free meals or water after waiting for long hours while some overseas Filipino workers opted to buy another ticket.
Poe lamented that there were no proper authorities who should be managing this kind of crisis to figure out on how the situation could have been handled better.“Whereas, the incident is truly a jolting wake-up call and we cannot afford to be the epitome of the worst airport in the world again,” Poe said.
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Meanwhile, the House committee on transportation is also set to investigate the temporary closure of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) runway, which led to flight delays and cancellations that left thousands of passengers stranded.
“Yes, we’re going to conduct an investigation and it is set on September 5,” transportation panel chairperson and Catanduanes Representative Cesar Sarmiento. He further explained that the NAIA authorities were helpless and clueless on how to deal with this kind of problem. They lacked the foresight to prepare for such an incident.
Sarmiento added, “They should not be reactive on cases like these, but pro-active”. Referring to the airport authorities. They should all be very quick in responding to this kind of problem order to prevent inconvenience that would affect the landing and takeoff of airlines.
Last August 18, Transportation Secretary Art Tugade apologized to the public and asked for understanding. He said he was saddened by the inconveniences and consequences brought about by the incident involving Xiamen Air.
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Despite apology issued by the DOTr Secretary and other airport officials, the Senate inquiry initiated by Senator Poe will push through on August 29, 9:30AM.
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