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FIRING LINE: Fire those inept airport officials

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By Robert B. Roque, Jr.

Last Friday, it happened again: power was out at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). It might have been as brief as 34 minutes, but passengers were left frustrated as several flights were delayed as a result.

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Juan Ponce Enrile was fuming, venting his disgust and egging on his boss, President Junior, to light a fire under the seats of Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) officials.

It was the fourth time a power outage had swept through NAIA since September last year. And the first two were already unforgivable booboos, to say the least. So, yes, I agree with Enrile that the President is warranted to fire the inept airport officials who allow this embarrassing disturbance to keep on happening.

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Meralco took responsibility for the power outage at NAIA last Friday. Personnel of MServ inadvertently committed a mistake during the testing of electrical facilities at the airport.

That, however, does not absolve airport management from failing to oversee any third-party tests conducted within its facilities.

So, this brings us back to JPE’s statement of fact that this is the 4th power outage at NAIA. And by his accounting and mine, it’s about time we substitute the principal players at the airport with people who could do a better job.

Herbosa better be good

 Finally, the President has decided to appoint a Secretary of Health in Ted Herbosa. While many would assume congratulations are in order, I’d beg to ask for whom and for what. 

Congratulations that it took Mr. Junior a year to make the decision, or kudos that after long consideration — perhaps, even sprinkled with doubt — over his fitness for the job, Herbosa finally got it?

Either way, the new DOH secretary better shine because public healthcare is challenged on all fronts following the three-year-long scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

And Herbosa better make an impact in his actions for the betterment of citizens’ health and the benefits to healthcare workers than make splashes of virality over insensitive and reckless posts that have made him the polarizing social media character many people remember him for.

Angkas’ dirty ad

The motorcycle-hailing company Angkas recently learned the hard way that tweets could backfire faster than rush-hour traffic. Their ill-conceived ad, featuring a distressed girl and the phrase “Stepdad, I’m stuck (in traffic),” raised eyebrows and rightfully enraged gender rights activists.

The inadvertent association with “stepfamily porn” showcased a stunning lack of sensitivity from a male-dominated company supposedly promoting parcel delivery, not pandering to unhealthy sexual dynamics. The statistics on incestuous abuse in the Philippines are alarming, as pointed out by netizen Reycel Bendaña, a member of the transport organization Move As One.

Rightfully so, Ms. Bendaña did not hold back, calling out the male-dominated company for promoting unhealthy dynamics and normalizing incest, and making sure her grievance reached Angkas CEO George Royeca.

While the Angkas CEO has since issued a public apology, this incident highlights the underlying problem of a culture that perpetuates harmful behaviors.

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SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email firingline@ymail.com or tweet @Side_View. Read current and past issues of this column at https://www.thephilbiznews.com

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