Consumer group says public in favor of NAIA rehab project

Published January 11, 2021, 2:30 PM

by Alexandria Dennise San Juan

The Passenger Forum (TPF),  a commuter advocacy group, said that at least 97 percent of Filipinos are in favor of the immediate rehabilitation of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), as shown in its online survey results.

In a statement on Monday, TPF convenor Primo Morillo said the NAIA rehabilitation project drew widespread support online amid delays in the initiative to improve the country’s primary international gateway.

“This poll further strengthened our resolve to campaign for the immediate rehabilitation of NAIA. There should be no further delay, the project has to start the soonest possible time,” Morillo said.

According to Morillo, over a million respondents participated in the online survey posted by the group from January 1 to 10 on various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.

“The campaign is most effective in TikTok. As this is used mainly by young people, we see this as the youth’s assertion that they want a better NAIA in the future that actually belongs to them,” Morillo explained.

In the same survey, it was also found out that 95.8 percent agree that NAIA’s terminals need to be interconnected via train, while 96.3 percent said the project should be entrusted to a company with a proven track record in building quality airports.

TPF and other transport groups and advocates have been pushing the government to proceed with the NAIA rehabilitation project without delay, adding that the low volume of travelers using the airport this pandemic is an opportunity to fast-track the program with less inconvenience to the riding public.

Morillo mentioned that they are still waiting for the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) board to meet and discuss the matter to “resolve whatever issues they have with the current proponent.”

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade last month prodded the MIAA to schedule a board meeting this January as its commitment to the Senate Committee on Public Services who conducted a hearing on the delay of the NAIA rehabilitation project.

Morillo also bared that they are planning to send a letter to President Duterte regarding the issue.

“No less than the President promised the rehabilitation of NAIA and a better experience for travelers. We’ll let him know that many people are waiting for this project to finally happen,” Morillo said.

“We don’t want the NAIA rehabilitation to be just another broken promise. We hope that as President, he’ll remind the DOTr and MIAA that, in fact, this is supposed to be a priority project of his administration,” he added.