The City Government urged the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) that operates Puerto Princesa City International Airport to fix problems within the facility and to ensure the orderly and smooth operations within the airport.
During the regular session of the City Council, City Councilor Peter Q. Maristela criticized the disorderly manner of picking passengers from the airport by van operators.
“Dapat ang mga vans sa airport ay pick up lang kasi meron tayong city ordinance na bawal. Ang terminal ay dapat 1 kilometer mula junction 2 kaya ang ating city public terminal ay sa San Jose. Sana maisama sa inyong pag-uusapan, kasi hindi talaga allowed ang terminal sa bayan o dyan sa airport. Dyan sa airport ay pag-pick up lang kasi unfair naman po sa mga legitimate operator na may franchise sa San Jose na hindi na pupunta doon ang mga turista kung dahil dito nag-aabang sa airport ang mga van operator. Hindi po fair yun. Ang ginagawa na ninyo sa airport ay naggulo gulo na eh,” Maristela said.
He further said that he observed that these passenger vans stay in the parking area of the airport to wait for the passengers and they already made the airport vicinity as their temporary terminal, which is not allowed based on the existing city ordinance.
“Lalo na yung iba nagpipila palagi sa airport. Kasi napansin ko po ang parking space sa mga passenger van ay nasa mismong harap ng arrival area. Samantalang yung sa mga private vehicles ay sa nasa kaliwa, nasa malayo. Kung susunduin mo kamag-anak mo ay maglalakad ka pa ng malayo,” Maristela added.
Aside from the disorganized pick up of passengers by public transport sector in the airport, the City Council likewise criticized the scattered and disorganized arrangement of stalls and kiosks of tourism-related businesses inside the airport terminal building.
The new CAAP manager, Efren Nagrama, as well as the representatives from tour operators and transport group present promised to fix these problems by coming up with guidelines which they will implement inside the airport.
He said that a meeting will be conducted with the concerned stakeholders. Representatives from the City Tourism Office were invited and are part of the meeting called by the CAAP.
City Councilor Nesario G. Awat assured CAAP, tour operators and the transportation sector operating at the airport the airport that he will support whatever rules that they will execute, as a result of their meeting.
“Yamang meron kayong pag-uusapan ay e-resolve na ang mga problema . Kung ano ang inyong mapagkasunduan ay ipaglaban po namin. You have to set rules para magkaroon kayo ng guide at kung ano man ang change na gusto ninyong gawin ay handa po naming suportahan,” he said.
City Councilor Henry Gadiano likewise advised CAAP to resolve the problem because achieving fruitful result by resolving the problem immediately will make the airport more organized and orderly.
“Itong problema nila ay hindi ito bago. So CAAP, you resolve the problem within your level. We have to be aware na ang pinaka-bottom line nito ay ang ating turismo at ang pangalan ng ating Puerto Princesa ay at stake kung ito man ay hindi ma-resolba,” he said.