Naia managers spurred into action vs ‘surot’

Naia managers spurred into action vs ‘surot’

/ 04:45 AM March 02, 2024

NAIA Terminal 3 in March 2020. surot


It took another viral complaint for the country’s main airport to finally get rid of this undesirable type of “travel bug.’’

An official of the Manila International Airport Authority (Miaa) assured passengers on Friday that the terminals of Ninoy Aquino International Airport were now free of “surot,” or bed bugs, at least in the areas pinpointed in a recent social media post.


The rows of gang and rattan chairs where passengers had complained of the bugs have been removed from the waiting areas of Naia Terminals 2 and 3, according to Miaa Head Executive Assistant Chris Noel Bendijo.


The chairs were “pulled out” and replaced by sets coming from Terminals 1 and 4 by order of Miaa General Manager Eric Ines, Bendijo said in an interview on Radyo 630.

“Based on this initial recommendation by our pest control service provider and our terminal manager, those (infested) rattan chairs will not be reinstalled.” “We have examined (the replacements); the seats are now safe,” he added.

READ: France launches anti-bed bug offensive

The Miaa, which manages the international gateway, was spurred into action against the bugs after several Naia passengers earlier this week took to Facebook and posted pictures of insect bites on their legs and thighs.

Ines on Thursday issued a statement apologizing to the passengers, admitting that this was not the first time the Miaa had received such a complaint. He said a thorough inspection of the waiting areas was conducted and that the affected passengers received medical assistance.

According to Bendijo, the Miaa would be discussing a procurement plan to have the rattan seats replaced, saying such type of material was indeed prone to bug infestation.


Rats, too

Also on Friday, lawmakers from party-list groups representing overseas Filipino workers demanded that the Miaa address not only the bedbug problem but also the rat sightings at Naia.

In separate statements, Kabayan Rep. Ron Salo and OFW party-list Rep. Marissa Magsino said the health, comfort, and safety of passengers were at stake.

READ: Bed bugs, rat at NAIA ‘untypical’ but may harm tourism—Grace Poe 

“(T)ake immediate and decisive action to address this matter and restore confidence in the airport’s cleanliness and hygiene standards,” said Salo, who also chairs the House committee on overseas workers’ affairs. “We cannot compromise the safety and comfort of our travelers.”

Magsino added: “These issues, on top of the perennial problem of congestion in and out of our airport … do not only inconvenience our ‘kababayans’ but also tarnish our image before the international community.”

Set to undergo a massive rehabilitation under a P171-billion contract recently awarded to a consortium led by San Miguel Corp., Naia has repeatedly landed on the list of the world’s worst airports.

Last week, the latest of such unflattering rankings came from the finance and lending research provider BusinessFinancing, where Naia was named “fourth worst.”

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“We trust that the envisioned Naia upgrade will be undertaken soonest to finally and permanently address such concerns,” Salo said. —Jacob Lazaro and Krixia Subingsubing INQ

TAGS: airport, bed bugs, Miaa, NAIA

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