DOTr to buy 2,000 chairs for NAIA Terminal 3 to ease woes of stranded persons
MANILA, Philippines — After President Rodrigo Duterte raised concern about the condition of locally stranded individuals (LSIs) in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) during his latest national address, the Department of Transport (DOTr) will buy 2,000 chairs to increase the airport’s seating capacity.
DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said Thursday that he directed the purchase of initial 2,000 seats after inspecting the condition of LSIs in NAIA Terminal 3 on Wednesday.
“While observing social distancing, nag-utos po ako kanina na bumili ng upuan, para antimano madagdagan. Nasa 2,000 po ‘yun minimum, sa umpisa, pero magkakaroon kami ng programa na madaragdagan ‘yung seating capacity,” Tugade said in a statement.
The DOTr chief also ordered all concerned agencies and offices of the department to join the multi-agency drive in assisting LSIs as ordered by the President.
Tugade likewise assured the stranded persons that the government is now doing all necessary actions to be able to fly them to their respective home provinces.
“Makikipagpulong kami sa mga airlines at makikipag-coordinate sa LGUs para sa schedule ng flights ng stranded nating mga kababayan,” he said.
From June 13 to July 1, different agencies such as the Civil Aeronautics Board, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine National Railways, Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Manila International Airport, and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines were able to assist a total of 17,977 LSIs in support of the DOTr’s directive.
However, some LSIs who were helped by PPA in returning to their home provinces are now stranded at the PPA annex building awaiting the lifting of the moratorium imposed by the receiving local government units.
On Tuesday night, Duterte in a televised address instructed Tugade to put chairs in the airport terminal where many individuals have remained stranded, waiting for their turn to go home. Jim Mendoza, Trainee
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