MANILA, Philippines – Amid social distancing measures, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered remedies for lack of passenger seat in NAIA.
President Duterte instructed the transportation department to remove restaurants and replace them with seats.
He said that he read the newspaper and saw the complaints of passengers. In recent weeks, news of passengers sleeping outside the airport to wait for flights are common.
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In response, Duterte mocked the current design of the airport. He said that the designer of NAIA was ‘stupid’ for not allocating enough seats.
Duterte sympathized with passengers who are waiting and standing long lines. He said that this is sad seeing the big spaces that restaurants occupy.
The sadder part, he emphasized, is that in the big spaces of restaurants, only a hand full of people can sit in. More so, he took the fall for this inefficiency and neglect.
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“This is a classic case of government and I must admit, I inherited the problem so I am part of it. I am not washing my hands. This is a failure of government – neglect,” the president said.
Moreover, he gave more instructions directed to Department of Transportation Secretary Art Tugade.
“Art, put seats in those areas. Terminate the contracts of the restaurants, terminate them because I need them to seat the passengers waiting,” he ordered.
“I will pay, you just bill me, even the food. Just look for an eatery otherwise the budget (department) might complain. Do not eat expensive food this time. We are in a crisis and let us keep our senses close to the ground,” Duterte added.
The president said that the current situation is “bothering” him. He emphasized that the government should provide quality services that are at par with the needs.