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

Marje Pelayo   •   June 26, 2020   •   391

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)

3 alleged human trafficking victims intercepted at NAIA – BI

Robie de Guzman   •   August 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Three people suspected of being victims of human trafficking and illegal recruitment have been intercepted at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said on Monday.

In a report to Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente, BI port operations division acting chief Grifton Medina said the passengers were stopped last week before they could board their flights to the Middle East and Europe.

Medina said one of the victims was bound for Dubai while the two others were destined for Greece, all of them showing intentions to work illegally as undocumented workers.

According to BI’s Travel Control and Enforcement Unit (TCEU), the Dubai-bound passenger was intercepted last 25 July 2020 after the immigration officer noticed that the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) was not cleared and validated by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration – Labor Assistance Center (POEA-LAC) desk at the NAIA.

Verification with the POEA-LAC later revealed that the said OEC was tampered as it was issued to someone else and not to the said passenger.

The victim then admitted that her trip was processed by her handlers and that her documents were only given to her when she arrived at the airport.

The BI-TCEU also reported that the two Greece-bound passengers who were intercepted last Saturday, August 2, likewise presented fraudulent travel documents, including fake OECs and local employment certificates.

The bureau said that upon interview, they confessed that their documents were only handed to them at the airport. They also said they were recruited to work in Athens by their handlers to whom they each paid P95,000 in return for facilitating their trip and processing their documents.

“Thanks to the vigilance of our primary inspectors for foiling these attempts by human trafficking syndicates to sneak their victims out of the country,” Medina said.

The victims were turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for investigation, according to the bureau.

NAIA Terminal 3 prepares as international flights resume on Wednesday

Maris Federez   •   July 7, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 confirms its readiness for the resumption of international flights on Wednesday (July 8).

The resumption of international flight operations, however, will still be at limited capacity in compliance with the directive of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) on the allowable number of passenger arrivals.

The IATF-MEID directive said the total number of arriving passengers on international flights must not go beyond 2,400 per day.

Half of this number is allotted to repatriated Filipinos, while the rest are for passengers from commercial flights.

Airport authorities said operations at Terminal 1 are once again transferred to Terminal 3 as the volume of passengers in international commercial flights continues to increase due to the easing of travel restrictions of other countries.

As part of the preparations, Manila International Airport (MIAA) General Manager Ed Monreal personally inspected the terminal 3 to check if the additional chairs to be placed near the check in counters at the departure area are complete.

Health and safety protocols, such as wearing of face masks and physical distancing inside the airport are still strictly implemented. —(from the report of Asher Cadapan, Jr.) /mbmf

BOC NAIA conducts stricter agri products inspection amid new swine flu

Maris Federez   •   July 6, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Custom (BOC) announced that its personnel at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) has intercepted a total of 775.6 kilograms of meat and meat products without Sanitary & Phytosanitary clearances from January to June 2020.

In a statement released on Saturday (July 4), the BOC said the meat and meat products that they have confiscated include 268.2 kilograms of pork, 106.4 kilograms of beef, 298.2 kilograms of poultry, and 102 kilograms of other kinds of meat.

The BOC added these products arrived without permits and health clearance, and were brought in through NAIA from African Swine Fever (ASF) infected countries.

“All the items were turned over to the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) for quarantine and immediate disposal to prevent the spread of the virus dangerous to local health and to the food industry,” the press release read.

It added that, with the emergence of a new strain of swine flu virus, the frontliners of the BOC-NAIA who man the passenger area and air cargo warehouses are on high alert against the possible entry of contaminated meat products.

“Customs NAIA has been consistent in protecting our local industry from any possible swine and agricultural epidemic and supports the directive of Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero to continuously monitor and safeguard the country’s borders,” the statement concluded. —/mbmf

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