April 5, 2023
MANILA, Philippines — It’s all systems go at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) for the influx of passengers during the Holy Week break, said Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista, who inspected airport terminals on Tuesday.
“The flow of traffic is orderly and you can see the employees of the [Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA)] all over the place … so the coordination of the Naia, of other agencies, such as the [Office of Transportation Security], is good,” Bautista told reporters.
To avoid overcrowding at airports, he said he had asked the MIAA to allow airline companies to open check-in counters earlier without charging them additional fees.
“I told MIAA to let the airlines open early and not charge them additional fees so the lines would not pile up,” he said, adding that they would also ask the airlines to have a queue management system.
According to him, they were expecting an estimated 2 million people to fly during the Holy Week break from April 6 to 10.
He reminded passengers to go to the airport at least three hours before their flights and to also ensure that they were not carrying dangerous goods in their baggage.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), on the other hand, said that it would conduct inspections of passenger buses to ensure their roadworthiness and compliance with health safety protocols.
“This year, after a long break due to the pandemic, we expect a huge influx of travelers going to the provinces either for leisure travel or to join their families for the long Holy Week break,” LTFRB Chair Teofilo Guadiz III said.
The LTFRB earlier issued special permits to 743 passenger buses to serve more commuters.
It also released Board Resolution No. 9 to extend the validity of the special permits from March 31 to April 17 from the previous period of April 2 to 11.
As this developed, Sen. Nancy Binay said on Tuesday she would file a resolution to investigate Cebu Pacific after receiving many complaints from passengers who supposedly missed their flights due to overbooking and glitches in the budget carrier’s online ticketing system.
Binay, chair of the Senate tourism committee, said that inconveniences like these were driving away tourists.
“We understand what budget traveling is like and the promos that go with it. Whether or not you paid ‘piso’ or the regular fare, it’s not about the price,” she said in a statement. “It’s actually the case of the airline being truthful, upfront, and transparent to its customers and passengers.”