Poe seeks ‘full-blown’ probe on Naia runway incident
Calling it a “jolting wake-up call,” Senator Grace Poe on Monday sought for a full-blown investigation on the latest airport incident that affected thousands of passengers.
Poe filed Senate Resolution No. 852, directing the Senate committee on public services, which she chairs, to conduct the probe.
She said her committee will open its inquiry into the issue next Wednesday (August 29).
In calling for the probe, Poe noted the airport and aviation’s “seeming broken systems of regulations” as shown from the latest incident involving a Xiamen Airlines plane that veered off the runway at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia).
The incident, she said, resulted in “airport paralysis” and flight cancellations that affected thousands of passengers.
“The slow actions on the issue is something perverse about an absent administration by inefficiency, lack of compassion for citizens and people, and anathema to the country’s quest in good public services, tourism, investments, human resources, and similar sectors,” Poe said in the resolution.
“The incident put a spotlight on the grim situation of our airport terminals even after the airport was opened,” she said.
The senator cited, among others, the lack of facilities for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and tourists, and the airport being in “chaos” as passengers were stuck inside the terminals while waiting for response from airport officials or airline crew.
“Since Naia is the Philippines’ gateway to the world, the runway mishap brings a lot of questions: Don’t we have the protocols, needed equipment and manpower to address these kinds of incident? Do we really need at least 36 hours or 1 and 1/2 days to clear our runways?” she asked.
Poe said authorities who should have been on top of the situation have a lot of explaining to do.
“The incident is truly a jolting wake-up call and we cannot afford to be the epitome of the worst airport in the world again,” she said.
This incident, Poe added, only showed how the country’s main gateway was “ill- equipped” in handling such crisis.
The senator said there may also be a need for the Philippine airport management to review and adopt new rules and standards in the aviation industry.
“Government has a vital role: to enforce its adopted regulations and standards and ensure that poor conduct is punished while observing the Executive department’s policies and management,” she further said. /je
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