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Duterte eyes Sangley airport for domestic flights


PRESIDENT Duterte presides over a Cabinet meeting at Malacanang. (Presidential photo)

PRESIDENT Duterte presides over a Cabinet meeting at Malacanang. (Presidential photo)

Sangley airport in Cavite must commence operations to handle do­mestic flights this coming November upon the order of President Duterte, Malacañang announced Tuesday.

The President has ordered the transfer of general aviation or do­mestic flights to Sangley airbase to decongest Ninoy Aquino Inter­national Airport (NAIA) during a Cabinet meeting at the Palace last Monday.

“Parang ang target date niyan December. Ang sabi naman ni Presi­dente, ‘Masyadong matagal ‘yan, November na lang,” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said during a Palace press briefing.

“He’s in a hurry. He wants to fix all these things,” he added.

The President’s latest decision to tap Sangley airport as an alterna­tive gateway came after expressing dismay with the NAIA’s flight delays and other problems.

Duterte made a surprise visit to NAIA Terminal 2 last Monday morning amid the flight delays and cancellations caused by bad weather. Apart from apologizing to the affected passengers, he has promised to remedy the dismal air­port situation within a month.

In the Cabinet meeting, Panelo noted the President agreed with Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugada’s plan to use Sangley airport for general aviation or domestic flights.

“Secretary Tugade reported that he had already initiated the testing of ferries that can operate from Mall of Asia to Sangley within 18-24 minutes,” Panelo said.

“The President directed the op­erations in Sangley Point to start immediately,” he added.

On security concerns, Panelo said the President prefers that airport security be handled by a single entity, either from the military or civilian force.

He noted that Tugade is expected to prepare an appropriate executive order for the President’s consid­eration.

Apart from using Sangley airport, the President also hinted about a possible revamp of the Manila air­port officials amid his dismay during the Cabinet meeting.

“Parang in passing lang sinabi, wala siyang masyadong explana­tion,” Panelo said.

“’I think I will make a revamp,’ It was just like that,” he said, remem­bering the President’s words. (Genalyn Kabiling)