Thrilla in Naia a blackeye in Philippine tourism

May 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

I hate to say this but this recent episode involving a journalist and a former action star exposes the deep-seated problems we now have at our airports. First, it exposed our defensive weaknesses. The fact that such an incident happened right inside an international airport and the guards assigned were slow to the call, shows you how unsecured the place is. If a sixty five year old guy like Inquirer columnist Mon Tulfo was not properly protected from an angry mob, how then can you assure that these guards would act more effectively when, say a terrorist decides to create havoc there? I mean, the response time and the demeanor of the airport guards and police were dismal. They were not able to quickly address the issue. They responded late.

Second, it showed you how serious problems in airline services are right now. Delayed flights, lousy cabin services and missing luggages are just some of the complaints being received by Cebu Pacific from irate customers. Don’t ever tell me that the reason for the lousy services is the fact that Cebu Pac offers cheaper rates, oh no. It does not follow that someone who avails of a cheaper rate gets a cheaper service. Cebu Pacific must improve its services.

Cebu Pacific must form a customer service unit to address these concerns. It must assign a manager to manage things there, otherwise, it would continue to suffer image problems.

Now, if our airports and our airlines are unprepared and under a condition of incompetency, how then can this country cope from a sudden influx of foreign tourists? The administration intends to generate close to 5 million extra tourists this year. With the state of our airports and the lousy services being offered by airline companies, will it still be fun to go to the Philippines?

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), the department responsible for the upkeep of our airports and seaports and all other utilities essential for tourism, should seriously address these problems. It is not okey anymore for Filipinos to get lousy services and delayed flights. Filipinos exercise patience, yes, but, it has its limits. Waiting for two hours is unacceptable nowadays, since everyone knows how other international airports conduct their business. DOTC secretary Mar Roxas wants to become president, sure. Before he even thinks of this, Roxas must accept the responsibility and clean house. He must fire Jose Honrado, the airport General Manager for incompetency.

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