NAIA rehab trends online: Survey finds 97% favor immediate start of project
MANILA, Philippines — The rehabilitation of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) drew widespread support online with its hashtag reaching 11 million views on Tiktok, even as a cloud of uncertainty hovers over the initiative to improve the country’s primary international gateway.
This was the finding of The Passenger Forum (TPF) in its online survey, which also found out that 96.7 percent agree that the project should proceed without delay.
“This poll further strengthened our resolve to campaign for the immediate rehabilitation of NAIA. There should be no further delay, the project has to start the soonest possible time,” Primo Morillo, TPF convenor, said in a statement issued on Monday.
The online survey was conducted from Jan. 1 to 10 with 1,077,382 respondents participating.
TPF members and their supporters actively advocated for the online survey through various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tiktok.
Several hashtags were used by netizens in support of the campaign — including #BetterNAIAnow, #FixNAIAnow, and #TransformNAIA.
“The campaign is most effective in Tiktok where all of the hashtags we used have at least 9.8 million views each,” Morillo said. “As Tiktok is used mainly by young people, we see this as the youth’s assertion that they want a better NAIA in the future that actually belongs to them.”
In previous statements, TPF repeatedly pointed out that the low volume of travelers using NAIA during the pandemic could be taken as an opportunity to fast-track its rehabilitation as it would cause less inconvenience to travelers.
“We’ve been waiting for the MIAA board to meet and discuss the matter to resolve whatever issues they have with the current proponent,” Morillo said.
According to him, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade prodded the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) last December to schedule a board meeting this month as a commitment to the Senate Committee on Public Services.
The commitment was given during last month’s hearing of the said committee headed by Sen. Grace Poe on the delay of the NAIA rehabilitation project.
The TPF survey also found out that 95.8 percent of respondents agree that NAIA’s terminals need to be interconnected via train and that 96.3 percent prefer that the project be entrusted to a company with a proven track record in building quality airports.
Morillo also announced that they are planning to send a letter to President Rodrigo Duterte regarding the issue.
“No less than the President promised the rehabilitation of NAIA and better experience for travelers. We’ll let him know that many people are waiting for this project to finally happen,” he said.
“We don’t want the NAIA rehabilitation to be just another broken promise. We hope that as President, he’ll remind the DOTr and MIAA that, in fact, this is supposed to be a priority project of his administration,” he added.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.