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No revamp of airport officials as Duterte ‘sort out’ problems

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By Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte is not yet inclined to implement a revamp of airport officials despite the recent flight delays that affected passengers in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the officials of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) as he conducts a surprise inspection at the NAIA Terminal 2 in Pasay City on June 10, 2019. ALFRED FRIAS/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the officials of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) as he conducts a surprise inspection at the NAIA Terminal 2 in Pasay City on June 10, 2019. (ALFRED FRIAS/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO)

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Philippine Independence Day celebration in Lanao del Sur, the President explained that he was still trying to “sort out” the problems besetting the airport.

“Wala [None]. I am still trying to sort out the problem,” Duterte said in a media interview when asked about his planned revamp in NAIA.

The President earlier expressed dismay with the flight interruptions at NAIA following a surprise inspection of the facility and promised to craft a remedy to improve the airport operations within a month.

According to Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo, the President also hinted about a revamp of the airport officials during the Cabinet meeting in Malacañang last Monday.

“He shared to the Cabinet Secretaries what he found out in his surprise visit at the NAIA. He expressed dismay and hinted at its revamp,” Panelo said.

The President also directed transport authorities to ensure the operation of Sangley airport in Cavite by November to ease congestion of NAIA.

Duterte has authorized the transfer of the general aviation or domestic flights to the former US naval facility. Panelo said Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade mentioned the testing of ferries that could operate from SM Mall of Asia to Sangley within 18 to 24 minutes.

The President has also voiced his preference for a single entity, either a military or civilian force, to handle the airport security.

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