Safety, taxi and other woes at Naia | Inquirer Opinion

Safety, taxi and other woes at Naia

/ 09:46 PM January 31, 2014

On Dec. 5, 2013, at about 4 pm, my husband parked our brand-new car at the Terminal 1 Naia parking area. He walked to the arrival section of the airport to meet our daughter. When they came back to the car, and as they were loading the luggage at the trunk, a ruggedly-clothed toothless man stood close to my daughter asking for money. Naturally, my daughter was frightened and quickly got inside the car. The man followed her, stood close to the car window and said grinning “Natatakot  ba  kayo  sa  akin,  ma’am?” Since he was asking for money, my husband gave him so they could move on.

A few meters after backing up, while still inside the Naia 1 parking facility, our car’s front passenger side tire burst. This is where the man stood a few minutes earlier. There was a C-shaped cut on the sidewall of the brand new tire. While my husband was changing the tire, two casually-dressed men approached them, offering help. Was it part of a modus operandi or was it real help? We rejected the offer.

We reported the incident to the guard on duty, Marlon Cureg. He said he was at the other side of the parking lot at the time of the incident. He also said he is the only guard on duty in such a relatively big parking area.


On  Dec. 9, my daughter e-mailed the Naia general manager, Jose Angel Honrado, reporting the incident. She asked for concrete measures to ensure the safety of travelers using the Naia parking facility. She followed up the e-mail on Dec. 20 but no response came.


Aren’t government officials supposed to respond to letters and inquiries within 15 days? Maybe it was Christmas. Maybe it was New Year. Maybe government officials were just too busy with parties and gift-giving. It’s the fourth week of the New Year, and still no feedback.

I would like an answer to these questions:

1. How can you make Naia parking safe for travelers?

2. What are the terminal and parking fees for if travelers cannot be safe within Naia?

While at it, I’d like to also raise this issue of travel tax and terminal fees. Ours is the only airport in the world I know that still charges these fees at the airport itself. Why not incorporate them in the ticket fees? Why make it cumbersome for travelers? There should be a system that links airlines and government facilities to avoid such hassle at the terminal. One time a European tourist, unaware of this troublesome procedure, got so mad; he said he had given away his peso-cash knowing he would have no need for the money when he got back to his home country. Neither did he have any US dollar as it was not his currency.

Likewise, it is only in Naia where there are “barkers” for taxi at the airport. People can read signs where to find the taxi queue. There’s no need for stalkers who keep asking where one will go. If a traveler happens to be so naïve, s/he’ll be made to commit unwillingly to an unreasonable taxi trip.


As Naia 1 gets rehabilitated, I hope that parking facility safety as well as exit fees and taxi procedures will be given ample consideration.


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TAGS: Air transport, Naia, ninoy Aquino international airport, Safety, Taxi

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