To ease airport congestion, President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday has ordered the transfer of domestic flights from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to Sangley Air Base in Cavite.
“The President directed the operations in Sangley Point to start immediately,” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
Panelo said the suggestion to transfer domestic flights to Sangley Air Base was presented by Transportation Arthur Tugade during Monday night’s Cabinet meeting.
In a Palace briefing, Panelo said the President wants the Sangley Airbase in Cavite to accommodate domestic flights by November.
He said this is a month earlier than Tugade’s target to transfer the domestic flights from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to Sangley Airbase by December.
Panelo said Tugade had already initiated the testing of ferries that can operate from Mall of Asia in Pasay City to Sangley within 18 to 24 minutes.
He said President Duterte wanted airport security to be handled by a single entity, either from the military or civilian force to ensure passengers’ safety.
Tugade will be drafting an executive order for the President’s consideration, Panelo said.
Duterte ordered the transfer of domestic flights to Sangley Air Base after making a surprise inspection at the NAIA Terminal 2 early Monday morning where he was dismayed over flight cancellations and delays.
He asked Tugade’s agency to solve the problem in the long term and promised passengers for the government to come up with a remedy “within a month.”
Sangley Airbase or the Danilo Atienza Air Base in Sangley Point, Cavite used to be a US naval station base until it was turned over to the Philippine Navy and Air Force in 1971.
Before it adjourned, the House of Representatives had approved a bicameral conference committee report creating the Davao International Airport Authority.
The bill empowers the Davao International Airport Authority or Authority which shall be attached to the Department of Transportation, to undertake the economic, efficient and effective control, management and supervision of the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City, the existing airports in the Davao Region, and such other airports within the area.
Garcia-Albano, who represents Davao City’s second district, said the creation of the Davao International Airport Authority will spur economic development of Davao City and the Davao Region.
Meanwhile, the Manila International Airport Authority on Tuesday said it would require airlines to explain flight delays to passengers after 54 flights were delayed and seven flights were diverted on Sunday due to a red lightning alert.
In an interview on radio dzMM, MIAA General Manager Ed Monreal said he would issue a resolution to emphasize the importance of adequately explaining such situations to the passengers.
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, the fiercest critic of Duterte, on Tuesday, likened his promises to cut travel time from Makati to Cubao to only five minutes and to eliminate flight delays at Manila’s international airport to a con-artist’s scam.
“We’ve been fooled so many times but we don’t learn,” Trillanes said in Filipino.
He recalled that Duterte came to power on a campaign promise to wipe out criminality and the illegal drug trade in three to six months.
He said the people should have already learned from Duterte’s unmet promises.
He called the President a pathological liar who could not help but tell lies.
“He cannot control himself He has been used to manipulating people in Davao,” the senator said. With PNA