Press Release
January 2, 2023

'Let's save NAIA from becoming a national disgrace' - Jinggoy

SENATOR Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada is set to file a resolution seeking an investigation, in aid of urgent remedial legislation, into the latest crisis that hit the country's main gateway on New Year's Day.

"The incident aggravates the already unpleasant image of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). It has been repeatedly labeled as one of the 'worst' and 'most stressful' airports in the world. This most recent episode necessitates remedial legislation and urgent action from the authorities to save it from becoming a national disgrace or pambansang kahihiyan," Estrada said.

The technical issues and power outage that paralyzed the operations of NAIA last January 1 further highlights the need for the installation of more sophisticated technologies, the setting up of effective backup mechanisms, and the hiring of competent manpower and experts to man them to ensure uninterrupted airport operations, the veteran lawmaker likewise stressed.

"We also have to be on guard against cybersecurity attacks, sabotage, disasters, and other threats," Estrada said, adding that the ten-hour technical glitch spells massive losses for the national economy as it leaves a dent in the overall image of the country as a viable tourism destination, commercial and investment hub.

In pressing for remedial legislation through the conduct of a Senate inquiry, Estrada said there is a need to properly and comprehensively identify the needed infrastructure, as well as possible government or private sector support, to modernize and fully equip NAIA at the soonest possible time.

"If we really want to transform from being one of the world's best, we have to ensure the highest quality of service for all its users. It's high time that we take a look at its current state," he said.

Estrada also said that the latest mess becomes yet another stumbling block for the recovery and revitalization of the tourism industry which is among the most severely affected sectors during the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The cancellation of flights inconvenienced some 56,000 to 65,000 passengers while at least 3,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were also affected, with some having their chances of being employed abroad in limbo, he added.

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