(YEARENDER) End of ‘tanim bala’, facilities and employees improvement in NAIA under Duterte admin

"Tanim bala" has been a major fear for local and foreign travelers accessing the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered to put a stop on this scam that has victimized different people, including the elderlies.

As soon as Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Ed Monreal assumed his post last July 1, "tanim bala" has finally ended.

MIAA issued a new policy allowing passengers to go on their flights by just surrendering the piece of bullet found in their luggage.

"For me, the major accomplishments here in NAIA during the first six months of Duterte administration are the end of "tanim-bala, improvement in facilities/maintenance, and our people became more disciplined," Monreal told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Last September 23, Smart Communications has launched a carrier grade wi-fi with 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) capacity allocated for each of the four terminals in NAIA. The said wi-fi can handle around 3,000 simultaneous users.

Smart Communications earlier told PNA that this carrier-grade wi-fi is very competitive to the wi-fi services in other countries' airports.

A new well-wisher's area at Terminal 1 was opened last September 28. This aimed to provide a convenient and relaxing way to send off travelers, especially for the families of the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

A New Instrument Landing System was installed at runway 06/24 last October 6. According to MIAA, this will help lessen the chance of diverting flights from NAIA due to the zero visibility on runway during bad weather.

In terms of transportation, new Airport premium buses were launched last September 6. Air21 has launched at NAIA the UBE Express, a premium bus service.

"This premium bus service is a direct response of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to the remarkable growth of activity and utilization of NAIA, hence the need for an innovative transportation mode that is more efficient, more convenient, and a more reliable transportation option going to the airport from strategic points in the metropolis and vice versa," MIAA shared.

The MIAA, meanwhile, has opened the White Taxi Lane (lane for regular metered taxis) in the four airport terminals. This will serve as an additional transportation option for the arriving passengers, and will lessen the ques on bus, yellow metered taxi and other transport concessionaires.

Supporting the Duterte administration's fight against illegal drugs, MIAA conducted a random drug test for all the members of Airport Police Department last August 3.

Last October 15, a Brazilian female model was intercepted upon her arrival at Terminal 3 for carrying a total of 6.2 kg of cocaine in her luggage.

Other achievements include a series of apprehension on "Salisi" in Terminal 3, and also having additional seats at the boarding gates there. Cleaner bathrooms was also cited.

MIAA also shared that last September 30, it has finally paid to PIATCO (Philippine International Air Terminals Company Inc.) a total amount of US$ 270 million in connection with the NAIA T-3 project.

Source: Philippines News Agency