Climaco laments deplorable condition of Zambo Airport PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 31 May 2016 13:43

By VIC LARATO

Mayor Beng Climaco minced no words yesterday in decrying what she termed as very deplorable condition of the facilities at the Zamboanga City International Airport, and she blamed it on the highly centralized system that the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) and the Department of Transportation and Communications have adopted for airport operations throughout the country.

Mayor Climaco shared the complaints of air passengers against the unsanitary condition of the airport terminal’s toilets, having no water, tissue and soap, a clear indication that funds generated from the terminal fees of P150 per passenger are remitted directly to the national government and do not even go back to the Zamboanga Airport.

The Zamboanga Airport serves more or less 1,000 air passengers every day.

“I have been lobbying that the remittances of airport fees should go to the city government because the situation at the terminal is very deplorable,” Climaco told the press briefing yesterday.

She said there were funds released to the airport sometime ago “but we did not know how it was utilized even as we understood that they (CAAP/DOTC) had paid one million pesos for the toilet cubicles but without water due to lack of water tanks.”

The chief executive said she had already advised the airport manager to bring the matter to the attention of the CAAP/DOTC in Manila.

However, Climaco believed that the solution to the problems at the airport terminal is decentralization. “Funds from terminal fees must be kept and spent judiciously by the airport management for better service and convenience of the passengers.

Aside from decentralization, Climaco urged the CAAP/DOTC to ensure that the winning bidder of the airport’s maintenance service must be Zamboanga-based. “The present maintenance agency is Manila based so they do not even care to pay for the employees on time, they do not even care whether or not their employees are provided with benefits,” she said, adding that it has been her former congressional office and now the local government that have been providing PhilHealth insurance to the airport’s maintenance personnel.

She added the city government likewise provided for the pushcarts at the arrival area of terminal.

In decentralizing the Zamboanga Airport operation, Climaco proposed that the management must be given the capacity to improve not just the toilets but also to provide pushcarts at the departure area.

“They must also make sure the baggage conveyer is in good or running condition and that the arrival and departure areas must be provided with furniture, fixtures and other amenities, given that passengers pay P150 each as terminal fee.— Vic Larato