DMW urges MIAA, CAAP to notify it of flight-related incidents

Manila, Philippines – Shortly after the New Year’s Day mess at Philipine airport as well as the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) due to an air traffic management system issue, the Department of Migrant Workers said it wants the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) to notify it immediately of any flight-related incidents.

Migrant Workers Secretary Susan Ople made the proposal at a briefing that was led by Senator Raffy Tulfo on Wednesday (Jan. 11).

“Admittedly po, we could have acted earlier…We need talaga a more institutionalized partnership with MIAA and CAAP. Sabihan sana kami starting line pa lang, nakikita nilang magkaka-aberya, sana merong ganoon and we will work that out po…Parang lesson learned po,” Ople said.

“CAAP and MIAA should alert us once there‚Äôs a crisis of some sort,” the DMW secretary stressed.

“Someone at the airport sent me a message on Viber and then the media started reporting on it. So our information didn’t come from MIAA or CAAP. We need to have a memorandum of agreement with these agencies…so that while they’re fixing the technical problems, we would already have set up on the ground,” she suggested.

Ople also said that there should be a quick response team from the department which will handle any airport-related incidents.

Most of the flight rebooking of the overseas Filipino workers (OFW) who were affected by the NAIA air traffic mess last January 1 were shouldered by their employers, Ople claimed.

If the rebooking cost was shouldered by the employee, Ople said OFWs can coordinate with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) so they can bring it up with CAAP.

The Philippine airspace effectively closed on New Year’s Day due to technical issues at the CAAP’s Philippine Air Traffic Management Center (ATMC).

At least 282 flights have been canceled, diverted, or delayed, and some 56,000 passengers at NAIA were affected by the fiasco.