By Wilnard Bacelonia

NAIA Terminal 2 (MIAA photo)

MANILA – Recent reports of malfunctioning air-conditioning and other concerns in the facilities of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and other airports in the country are set to be looked into by the Senate.

In a press briefing in Monday, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said he will file a resolution “within the next few days” to launch a public inquiry and find out who must be held accountable over the breakdown of airport facilities.

On March 27, the NAIA Terminal 2 experienced a three-hour and 16-minute period of limited power supply due to a series of power fluctuations.

According to the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), the power fluctuations affected the air handling units at the departure area.

Apart from NAIA, Zubiri also cited the Laguindingan International Airport in Misamis Oriental which he described as “very messy” and resembling a public market.

“An inquiry and a report from the Department of Transportation to the Senate on why Cagayan de Oro Airport has not been transferred yet to the private sector consortium which has been awarded six months ago. Same with the breakdown of the facilities in the NAIA. Kailangan magpaliwanag sila sa taumbayan (They need to explain it to the public),” Zubiri said.

Senator Grace Poe also urged Iloilo Airport officials, not to make it a literal “warm welcome” for travelers amid reports of yet another case of malfunctioning air-conditioning systems and elevators.

Sa bawat airport, gusto nating bigyan ng warm welcome ang bawat byahero. Naging literal naman yata ang warm sa NAIA at Iloilo Airport dahil parang pugon daw sa init ang loob nito dahil sa sirang aircon (In every airport, we want to give each traveler a warm welcome. It seemed that the warm became literal in NAIA and Iloilo Airport because the temperature was reported to seem like an oven because of the malfunctioning aircon),” Poe said in a Viber message to reporters.

“We want to find out how the PHP 190 million we have set aside in the 2024 budget is being utilized for the Iloilo Airport’s repairs and maintenance,” she added, recalling that she pushed for the fund during deliberations “to make sure its benefits trickle down to the people.” (PNA)