Gov’t, private sectors unite to bring over 10,000 foreign tourists to NAIA, Clark Int’l Airport

Maris Federez   •   March 25, 2020   •   792

Passengers rush to catch last plane out amid lockdown in the Philippines (19 March 2020)

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism (DOT), together with several government agencies and various domestic airlines, have joined forces to ferry more than 10,000 foreign tourists from different parts of the country to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and Clark International Airport.

This measure is aimed at assisting these foreign tourists who were stranded in the country due to the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine to be able to go back to their respective countries.

DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said this will help lessen the stranded tourists in the various islands in the country.

“The Department of Tourism has been doing everything within its resources to ease the congestion in the different regions by facilitating the movement of foreign tourists stranded in the different islands of the country,” Puyat said in a statement.

Over the weekend, 7,915 tourists were brought to the two airports through the sweeper flights of different domestic airlines, such as Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Air Asia, and Air Swift, as well as chartered flights.

DOT regional offices also assisted the stranded tourists in Luzon via land transport.

The Philippine Coast Guard, on the other hand, helped ferry those in Bohol, Siquijor, Negros, and Cebu through inter-island vessels.

Shuttle services and hotel accommodations were arranged for several stranded tourists who were also given free foods and hygienic items while waiting for their flights at the NAIA.

Other sweeper flights were also used for those in Iloilo, Tacloban, and Cagayan de Oro.

Three more sweeper flights are also being prepared for the others in Davao and Puerto Princesa to be transported on Thursday (March 26).

Two sweeper flights are also scheduled for tourists on Boracay island for transportation on Thursday, and four more over the weekend. — (from the report of Asher Cadapan, Jr.) /mbmf

Undeclared watches, commercial goods worth P1.1-M seized at NAIA – BOC

Robie de Guzman   •   July 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Various branded watches and other commercial goods estimated to worth P1.1 million were seized at the port of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said Thursday.

In a statement, the BOC said the undeclared items were confiscated on June 29. These were part of a consolidated shipment from the United States of America labeled as “personal effects.”

The seized goods include branded watches such as Michael Kors, Fossils, Anne Klein, Charriol, Invicta, Kate Spade, Diesel and Tommy, as well as bags, wallets, shoes — all in commercial quantity, the bureau said.

The items were intercepted after the shipment underwent X-Ray inspection.

The BOC-NAIA said it has issued a Warrant of Seizure and Detention against the confiscated goods for violation of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

The bureau added the case records shall also be referred to the Bureau’s Action Team Against Smugglers (BATAS) for a possible criminal complaint against the personalities behind the foiled smuggling attempt.

Lawmakers push to rename NAIA to ‘Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Pilipinas’

Marje Pelayo   •   June 26, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) is considered as the country’s main gateway, the center of all international and local flights and the largest airport in the Philippines.

For this reason, several lawmakers want to rename it using the Filipino language that will reflect Filipino patriotism.

Representatives Paolo Duterte, Lord Allan Velasco and Eric Go Yap file on Thursday (June 25) House Bill No. 7031 which seeks to rename NAIA to ‘Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Pilipinas.’

“We want it to reflect the legacy of the Filipino people, our everyday heroes. The name bears no color, no political agenda. It only signifies our warmth as Filipinos in welcoming our own kababayans and foreign visitors,” said House Deputy Speaker and presidential son Rep. Paolo Duterte.

ACT-CIS Party-list Rep. Eric Yap, meanwhile, said changing the name will add a ‘homey’ feel not only for returning Filipinos but also for foreign tourists.

“Gusto natin na paglapag pa lang ng eroplano dito, pangalan na agad ng bansa natin ang bubungad sa ating mga balik-bayan pati sa mga turista mula sa ibang bansa (We want the name of our country to welcome our arriving compatriots and foreign guests),” he said.

“Ating iparamdam sa kanila na sila ay nakauwi na sa kanilang tahanan, (Make them feel that they are finally home),” he added.

Marinduque District Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, for his part, said renaming the airport will further strengthen its identity as the country’s premier gateway to the world.

“Renaming it to Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Pilipinas will not only benefit and bolster our brand as a destination hub, but will also strengthen the country’s identity,” Velasco said.

Prior to its current name, NAIA was formerly known as Manila International Airport (MIA) but was renamed in 1987 under Republic Act 6639. MNP (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)

Mga stranded na pasahero sa NAIA, inilipat sa isang temporary shelter sa Pasay – DOTr

Robie de Guzman   •   June 12, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Sa isang paaralan sa Pasay City pansamantalang mananatili ang mahigit sa 300 stranded na pasahero habang naghihintay ng masasakyan pauwi sa kani-kanilang probinsya.

Ayon sa Department of Transportation (DOTr), dinala muna sa Villamor Air Base Elementary School ang mga stranded na pasahero matapos ang ilang araw na pananatili sa ilalim ng isnag elevated expressway malapit sa Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Karamihan umano sa mga ito ay naipit sa Metro Manila matapos abutan ng community quarantine habang nag-aasikaso ng mga papeles para sa aplikasyon sa trabaho sa ibayong dagat.

At dahil naantala na ang pag-proseso ng kanilang mga dokumento, pinapauwi na umano muna sila ng manning agency at tatawagan na lang kapag maayos na ang sitwasyon.

Nang payagan ng pamahalaan ang muling pagbubukas ng domestic flights para sa locally-stranded individuals, nagpuntahan ang mga ito sa NAIA bitbit ang kanilang mga ticket.

Ngunit pagdating sa paliparan, saka lang nila nalaman na kanselado pala o kaya ay nalipat ang schedule ng kanilang biyahe.

Bunsod nito, napilitan ang ilan sa kanila na maghintay na lamang malapit sa NAIA dahil wala naman anilang inilaang accommodation ang kanilang agency habang stranded sila sa Metro Manila.

Hindi rin sila pinapayagang makapasok sa airport terminals kung hindi pa nila schedule na umalis.

“Kami po y’ong nag-apply na mag-abroad tapos hindi po natuloy kaya na-cancel po kaya wala na po kaming matirhan. Exactly po talaga flight namin June 9 tapos nag-extend kasi po eh. Tapos wala na kaming mapuntahan kaya dito na lang po kami pumunta,” ang kwento ni Romarie Viola, isa sa mga locally-stranded individuals.

Bilang tugon sa sitwasyon, nagpadala ng mga tauhan ang Philippine Coast Guard at Pasay City Police noong Huwebes ng gabi para ilipat ang mga stranded nating kababayan sa isang paaralan sa Pasay na magsisilbi nilang temporary shelter.

Dito, makakakain sila at makakapag-pahinga ng maayos habang nakikipag-ugnayan sila sa airline companies at kaukulang local government units para sa kanila pag-uwi.

Samantala, nagbabala naman ang DOTr sa manning agencies na magpapabaya sa kanilang mga aplikante at tauhan.

Ayon kay DOTr Assistant Secretary Eymard Eje, maaaring maharap sa kaso ang manning agencies kapag napatunayang tinatakasan nito ang kanilang obligasyon.

“Nakatanggap kami ng mga report na ito, dinadala dito ng mga manning agency nila para tumakas sa kanilang mga obligasyon. Kaya y’ong mga manning agency, binabantaan namin kayo, itigil ninyo na ‘yan dahil ‘pag nahuli namin kayo, sigurado katakot-takot na kaso aabutin ninyo,” ani Eje.

Una nang ipinag-utos ni Pangulong Duterte sa mga kaukulang ahensya ng pamahalaan na tutukan ang pagbibigay-ayuda at pagpapauwi sa lalawigan ng mga kababayang naipit sa Metro Manila sa gitna ng community quarantine.

Samantala, muli namang nanawagan ang Manila International Airport Authority sa mga pasahero na huwag pupunta sa mga paliparan kung hindi pa kumpirmado ang kanilang flight. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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