From distressing to de-stressing.
Choirs performing Christmas carols will greet weary travelers this December at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia), until a few weeks ago a distressing place for not a few travelers because of the “tanim-bala” (bullet-planting) scheme.
Spreading cheer to help “destress” the travelers at Naia are serenaders from nine schools and eight government agencies.
With the onset of the Yuletide season, the “hysteria” over the bullet-planting scheme appears to have receded, with no new cases reported.
The scheme involves certain policemen or luggage checkers who allegedly plant a live bullet in luggage, sowing fear among passengers as this could prevent them from leaving unless they cough up money, and make them the target of criminal charges.
Apart from tapping choirs, the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) is looking for ways to ease traffic congestion along thoroughfares leading to Naia’s four terminals so travelers would truly feel welcome and stress-free.
MIAA will also come up with a way to provide passengers real-time data on flight cancellations and delays, and ensure that airlines meet flight schedules to address air traffic congestion, according to the MIAA senior assistant general manager, Vicente Guerzon Jr.
Scheduled to perform this month are choirs from Rizal Technological University (RTU), Philippine College of Criminology (PCCr), Trinity University of Asia (TUA), Centro Escolar University (CEU), Philippine State College of Aeronautics (PhilSCA), University of Perpetual Help Las Piñas and in Cavite, Development Academy of the Philippines and Adamson University.
Government agencies taking part in the Christmas serenade are Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Social Security System (SSS), Government Service Insurance System, Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone, National Food Authority, Land Bank of the Philippines and Philippine Air Force.
Of the 40 performances, seven will be rendered by serenaders from PhilSCA, PCCr, TUA, CEU and RTU will take part in four each, while the Pagcor, PPA and SSS choirs are scheduled for repeat performances.
MIAA has also started to draft “Oplan Pasko 2016” to address the flow of millions of airline passengers at Naia that congests major thoroughfares leading to its four terminals.
Guerzon said the airport authority would meet on Monday with the Airline Operators Council, traffic management groups from the Pasay and Parañaque City governments, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and DM Consunji Inc. to iron out their respective tasks for the activation of Oplan Pasko 2016.
Guerzon said the operation plan would take effect from Dec. 16 to Jan. 4, considered the peak season in air travel and would primarily be concerned with ensuring the safety and security of all passengers and terminal visitors.
As for roads around the terminals, he said MIAA would tap the Airport Police Department and coordinate closely with the Pasay and Parañaque city governments as well as the MMDA to ensure the smooth flow of vehicular traffic.
In December last year, Naia had 1,668,326 domestic and international arrivals and 1,469, 362 domestic and international departures.
In 2013, there were 1,560,675 domestic and international arrivals and 1,338,250 domestic and international departures for the same month.