MANILA International Airport Authority (MIAA) general manager Jose Eric Ines announced plans to remove the gang chairs at the arrival area of the NAIA Terminal 3, saying the area has become a place where some people just sleep or while their time away and opens the possibility of opening the well-wishers to the dangers of individuals with ill intentions criminal elements.


In his first meeting with members of the Airport Press Club (APC), Ines, who was joined by his top officials led by head executive assistant Atty. Chris Noel Bendijo, public affairs office head Connie Bungag, senior assistant general manager Beng Reyes, assistant general for security and emergency services MGen. Manuel Sequitin and assistant general manager for airport development and corporate affairs Rally Austria, said that the gang chairs will be removed after Holy Week on the request of the terminal manager and other officials in the said terminal who have weighed the pros and cons.


Alongside this, Ines appealed to the public to avoid going to the airport terminal in throngs and staying in the departure or arrival area longer than they should, saying the number of people loitering, slumped and sleeping on the floors has become an ugly sight and a problem for those maintaining order and security in the area.


He shared that when Reyes went around the airport incognito, she chanced upon a man sleeping on the gang chairs and asked if he had a passenger. The man, Ines said, told Reyes that he was just there to sleep and enjoy the aircon.


“Napupuno na…’yung iba, well-wishers per ‘yung iba, tambay na lang. Masarap daw kasi aircon. We are not totally discouraging but after maghatid, sana ay umalis na kaagad, ‘wag na mag-loiter kasi mahirap ma-distinguish kung sino sa mga naroon ang iba ang pakay,” he noted. The airport GM added that with the expected surge of passengers this Holy Week, additional uniformed policemen and security personnel will be deployed to provide added protection to the passengers and airport visitors, all the way up to the time that the gang chairs have been removed.


Another problem that is being posed by allowing too many people in the said area is that it is difficult to specifically distinguish between legitimate well-wishers and those with ill or criminal intent,” Ines said.


It will be noted that in the past, there had been cases of theft in the said area perpetrated by criminal elements blending in with those waiting for their passengers to come out.

NAIA Terminal 3 is the only premier airport terminal where outsiders are allowed inside for long periods of time.

Itchie Cabayan

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