Table Talk: Zambo Int’l Airport woes PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 30 November 2011 15:00

By all means, secure the airport from terrorist bombs and other lawless shenanigans but those who meet arriving relatives and friends must also have a comfortable waiting area complete with chairs. This must be provided by the airport management not just for the heck of it, but the airport was built from taxpayer’s money and therefore taxpayers must be treated fairly.

In economics, “Tax is defined as an enforced contribution by the government upon its citizens who render habitual obedience, but it must be returned back to the citizens in terms of facilities.”
* * * *

We are not against the safety measures designed by the military and the police at the airport because a bomb exploded in that area when people were allowed to go near the arrival and departure entrance but at least since they prohibited strictly going near those areas and people have to stay down the entrance lane, chairs and garbage bins must be provided by the Airport Authority inside those donated open air tents. What is happening right now is, if it happens you are there meeting someone and it is drizzling, you have to cramp yourself into those small tents standing or the nearest snack house and buy something unnecessarily. It appears that those snack houses are having a business heyday because of the airport’s management insensitivity to the real situation outside of that airport.
* * * *

We are not questioning why vehicle owners pay for a parking fee to a private contractor that oversees the flow of traffic inside the airport. Is the lot outside the airport building but within the perimeter of the airport on lease to a private individual? What part of the airport area is the free parking lot like any government offices? Aside from the excess baggage we pay to airlines carrier, we are made to pay for check-in baggage or more than one hand-carried baggage to a group not employed with the airport authority, who owns that baggage collection entity at the airport? Where does their collection go? Is this allowed like the private parking fee of the city government who has converted practically all city and national roads into a parking area?
* * * *

Zamboanga City government must review its taxing authority provided by the Local Government Code, although mentioned in the code that the local government cannot collect taxes already collected by the national government, therefore, those not included in the Code are deemed or presumed allowable to be collected by the local government unit. However, taxes to be collected must be fair and just for the citizens. I should not be harsh and unreasonable, just like, you are made to pay in an area for health purposes like daily jogging to be physically fit, because when citizens get sick or when there is an epidemic, the government spends millions for the citizens’ medicines and hospitalization. To prevent getting sick you exercise daily but you have to pay to be physically fit.
* * * *

The Plaza Pershing, last bastion of old Zamboanga and a poor man’s rest area, is now improved to be at par with international plazas, complete with modern electronic dancing lights and fountains at a staggering cost and paid for by people’s money. Alas! There is a proposal by some legislators to collect a certain amount for someone to see the dancing fountain depriving the poor people of the city the privilege to see “scenery” of modern idea for free. City officials said the money collected from the gimmick will be used for the maintenance of the fountain. What a foolish reason. Is it not, once the government approves some purchases that needed maintenance, a budget also goes with it? Perhaps, one day some of our legislators will collect a certain amount just to see the City Mayor or an entrance fee to City Hall. It has already started with our athletic fields, then our public plaza. What else is left for free?
* * * *

Scoop: The City Government must also give a little leeway to the poor, instead of collecting entrance fee in government entities, why not instead be strict in collecting the penalties for violations of City Ordinances, like, Anti- Littering and Jaywalking? You will note that there is more money in those unimplemented Ordinances.