The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) on Friday said it sees a up to a 15 percent increase in passengers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) during the peak season starting December 15.
This developed as Senator Grace Poe urged the government to ensure adequate, reliable, and safe transportation for Filipinos who will be travelling to various destinations this coming Yuletide season.
At a public briefing, MIAA Senior Assistant General Manager Bryan Co said around 100,000 passengers daily were recorded arriving and departing from the country.
“In the peak season we expect that the number of passengers here at NAIA will increase by 13 to 15%. Currently, we are at around 100,000 passengers daily. This is a combination of our arriving and departing passengers for both domestic and international operations,” Co said.
“When we say the peak season that will be around mid-December onwards until early January, the volume of passengers will rise by around 15%,” he added.
The MIAA official said there was also a rise in travels to domestic destinations following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.
“When it comes to our domestic destinations, because we know that our domestic destinations have opened and travel restrictions have eased, domestic operations have surpassed our pre-pandemic or pre-2019 figures,” Co said.
“However, internationally, there are other markets or countries where movement is still restricted because of COVID-19, we are still at about 60 to 70% of our pre-pandemic international traffic when it comes to our travels in other countries,” he added.
In a statement, Poe, the Senate public services committee chairperson, pointed out that lack of available public transportation would open the opportunity for fly-by-night and colorum vehicles to operate.
“For millions whose only option is to take the public transportation, public utility vehicles (PUVs) should be readily and safely accessible,” she said.
“The lack of PUVs could open the way for fly-by-night and other colorum vehicles that could jeopardize the safety of our riding public.”
Poe called on the concerned agencies to work closely with transportation groups and private operators to make sure there are sufficient PUVs to transport travelers safely to their destination.
“Unauthorized for-hire vehicles usually charge passengers exorbitantly. Worst, they ply the roads without undergoing the proper safety checks exposing the public to road hazards and increased risk of accidents,” she added.
Poe issued the statement considering the National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims, Survivors, and their Families on the third Sunday of November.
In January 2020, Republic Act 11468 was enacted to promote road safety and encourage the remembrance of the lives lost or injured in road accidents.
Poe cited data from the Philippine Statistics Authority which showed that there were 5,455 deaths recorded due to transportation accidents from January to July 2022.
She also mentioned that road crash incidents ranked 12th among the top causes of deaths in the country during the same period.
The senator said she hopes that the law will be fully implemented not only to remember the victims of road crash but to “draw attention to the crucial task of embarking on shared actions to prevent further road traffic deaths and injuries and help families of the victims find justice.”
“The road tragedies leave a lesson that they should not be repeated and remind us that the path to safe travels is a shared responsibility,” Poe said.