From Air, Land and Sea – Chaos of the Transport Sector

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by Rick Daligdig

 

On the first day of the Year, Filipinos are welcomed by the “technical glitch” that occurred in the country’s main gateway to the world. The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) shut down its operation when the airspace navigation system failed due to a power interruption in the system. Hundreds of flights were canceled or re-book or diverted to different airports. Stress, hassle and inconvenience were the experience of our kababayans and also the foreign tourists that expected to have a great vacation turned into nightmare. The technology used was admittedly outdated and needs to upgrade. Ironically the Airspace navigation system was inaugurated last 2018 promising an advanced leap to our aviation industry but the technology they are using is a 2010 one!

Aside from the inconvenience, it also reflects how poor the airport and its structures we have. I remember there is a recent report came out that NAIA is the world’s no.3 stressful airport. Authorities are now looking into the cause of this fiasco and necessary precautions must be in place so that it will not happen in the future.

Now we go to land transport, sad news that the free bus ride in EDSA Carousel was finished last December 31, 2022. Commuters will now have to pay for their fare which starts from Php 15 pesos up to Php 75 pesos per ride. Many are hoping that the free ride will extend this year but unfortunately, the Department of Transportation has no budget for it. We are now in the reality that we must bear the plight of the high cost of food prices plus the transport expenses that will incur. To add, the DOTr is planning to privatize the bus carousel system. Is this the response of the government to fix the transport system in our country? In the past, the privatization of government facilities means more disadvantages that goods to the end public. The classic example of these are the water and electric industries. I don’t need to elaborate on this because in the following days they will have a price hike and the main reason is to recover their losses. In short, profitability over good service to the public.

Even in our seaports we still need much more improvements plus the fare hike of the shipping companies. The DOTr has a grand plan also on our seaports….PRIVATIZE!

The transportation system is one of the backbones of the economy. The reliable and effective mobility of people and products depends on infrastructure and facilities provided by the government. The government must ensure and provide funding for upgrading, restructuring, and building a conducive mass transport system. It should be a wake-up call to the concerned government agencies given that it is one of the core projects of this administration. END

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