Duterte orders Tugade to remove restaurants to accommodate stranded passengers at NAIA
President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade to remove restaurants at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to provide more space and seats for the stranded passengers.
In a taped televised message on Tuesday night, Duterte issued the directive after seeing reports about the stranded passengers at the airport who were sleeping outside the buildings.
"I'd like to call the attention of Secretary Tugade...that airport, whoever designed that, he's stupid. Tell him, there are no seats. There are only few seats," he said, noting that whenever there are many delayed flights, the stranded passengers are standing.
"And what's really worse is, there's a big restaurant outside. Remove it, install seats because those who have children, are pregnant, they could not sit," Duterte stressed.
He specifically cited Terminals 2 and 3.
He said the lack of seats at the airport has long been a problem even before his administration.
"This is a classic case of government and I must admit, this problem is ongoing up to my administration. I am not washing hands. This is a failure of government...neglect," Duterte added.
He asked Tugade to terminate the contracts with the restaurant owners at NAIA if possible.
"Terminate them because I need them to seat the passengers waiting," he said.
Since only few airlines are using the Terminal 1, Duterte also suggested to make it as the waiting area for passengers who would depart from Terminals 2 and 3.
But there should be shuttle services that would bring passengers to either of the two terminals.
"The services must be in parity of the needs of the people," he added.
Terminal 2 is being used by Lucio Tan's Philippine Airlines, while the Gokongwei's Cebu Pacific, as well as few other domestic and international airlines, are using Terminal 3. Celerina Monte/DMS