PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to take commercial flights in regularly shuttling between Manila and Davao will allow him to personally check on the improvements done on the the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, said Senator Ralph Recto.
If Duterte board flights in the Naia terminal, Recto said, it will serve as a “presidential inspection” of the nation’s premier air gateway.
“If he become a suki [regular customer] of Naia, then he can see for himself if services are being improved,” Recto said. “He will also see first hand the things that need to be done.”
Specifically, Duterte could find out if the X-ray machines are working, if the toilets are clean, if the queues are short and move fast, if the air conditioning works, if the baggage carousels are moving, and if there are enough taxis for passengers, Recto said.
“This will have at least 37-million unintended beneficiaries,” Recto added, referring to the expected number of passengers who use Naia’s four terminals this year.
Duterte’s regular presence at the airport might also solve the chronic congestion that regularly delays flights, Recto added.
“With the right mix of incentives and occasional invectives from Digong, Naia can transform from world’s worst to best,” he said, referring to Duterte by his nickname, and alluding to his penchant for using profanity.
Recto said the government collected enough money “to keep Naia’’s ceilings from falling down or air conditioners from conking out” as they repeatedly did over the last few years under the Aquino administration.
The government, he added, collected P10.4 billion from Naia passengers and airlines in 2015.
Out of this, the government netted P5.44 billion: P1.22 billion as its 20-percent share from gross income, P1.27 billion in tax payments, and P2.94 billion in net profit.
About a third of Naia’s gross income came the P550 international terminal fee and the P200 domestic terminal fee paid by passengers.
In addition, NAIA is a major collection point of travel taxes.
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