The recent NAIA Terminal 3 “scuffle” between Ramon Tulfo and the group of Raymart Santiago and Claudine Barretto, is nothing out-of-the-ordinary, really. I am quite sure this kind of thing happens frequently in other places. It just so happened that this particular brawl has been highly sensationalized due to the fact that the people involved were notable showbiz and media personalities. The Santiago-Tulfo brawl that happened last Sunday at NAIA Terminal 3 was, in a way, the means in which more of our airport woes have been exposed.
After the much sensationalized fight, we should all start directing our attention to our airport’s long-standing ineptitude. Here are a few issues NAIA needs to immediately resolve:
1. No available CCTV -
In this day and age, it is absolutely unacceptable for an airport not to have fully-functioning CCTVs all over the facility. CCTV cameras are essential and vital to effect reliable security. Without CCTVs, how can we monitor the comings and goings of passengers as well as happenings and critical events inside (and outside) the premises? Whatever happened to the terminal fees that passengers are required to shell out? Aren’t these fees collected for maintaining (and upgrading) the airport’s wellness as well as for purchasing needed equipment?! Gah!
2. Safety and Security -
We want to go to places where we feel safe and secure… where police officers/security personnel are honest and dependable in times of trouble. Sadly, because of the scuffle, NAIA Terminal 3 was embarrassingly revealed to be anything BUT that! If airport security were around, alert and competently trained, the recent fistfight could have been prevented or at the very least minimized. Airport management should re-evaluate and deploy additional security guards to avoid similar or worse events in the future. These problems risk the safety and well-being of passengers as well as airport staff.
3. Airline S.O.P. on “off-loading” -
Airlines can strictly implement an “off-loading” procedure of baggages for safety reasons (ex. Prevailing weather conditions). Unfortunately, nine out of the 11 luggages that were off-loaded belonged to Raymart Santiago’s group according to a Cebu Pacific executive. Given that Cebu Pacific’s primary concern is the safety of the passengers, they should also equally give importance to informing passengers of sudden unavoidable circumstances that arise. What Cebu Pacific (or any other airline for that matter) could’ve done was to post an announcement at the carousel area indicating the baggage stub numbers that were off-loaded to avoid confusion. They could likewise station a representative to assist passengers and to immediately address queries.
These airport headaches can easily be avoided if only airport and airline management in our country would really start taking their jobs seriously and make customer safety and convenience a real priority.