John Matthew Cruz
The general manager of Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) has canceled all staff leaves for the Holy Week.
In a press briefing Thursday, Ed Monreal said airport personnel will take over policing queues during this busy period due to manpower shortage at the Bureau of Immigration (BI).
BI officials have assured Monreal that despite the crisis, between 120 and 150 personnel would be deployed to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). He was unsure, however, how long they would be working at their posts.
“What’s important for now is that we have people to assist where it is needed,” he said.
As of press time, an increasing number of BI employees assigned to NAIA have resigned or filed for leave, ranging from six months to a year in response to alleged unpaid overtime work.
Monreal encouraged passengers to arrive at the airport at least two to three hours before their scheduled flights.
Philippine Airlines suggested an even earlier time frame, saying travelers were “advised to check in at the airport (NAIA Terminal 2) at least four to five hours before their flight’s estimated time of departure due to insufficient staffing at the airport’s immigration counters resulting in long lines”.
Monreal, however, disagreed with PAL’s estimate.
“With more people crowding the terminal, the situation will just get worse,” he said.