By Ma. Cristina Arayata

Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 (PNA file photo by Cristina Arayata)

MANILA – Airport authorities expect an influx of passengers this Holy Week, with about 180,000 travelers daily at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) alone.

Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) Acting General Manager Eric Jose Ines said Monday about 50,000 passengers would add to the daily average of 130,000 for the Holy Week break.

This is higher compared to the same period last year with 20,000 additional passengers.

“We’re expecting more passengers, especially in the domestic (destinations). It’s more convenient to travel these days, even to nearby cities in the region. So we are expecting higher than 20,000,” Ines said in an interview.

In preparation for the Holy Week, the MIAA is looking for ways to collaborate with police departments and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority to help them manage the traffic build-up near the airport.

Sanitation measures have been strengthened and more pest controllers deployed, he added.

“We also request our passengers to throw their wastes in proper areas or trash bins to maintain cleanliness. Further, we request the public to refrain from sleeping on the chairs in the arrival area, especially those who are not waiting for a passenger,” Ines said.

Office for Transportation Security spokesperson Kim Marquez said there are over 1,100 personnel manning the country’s main gateway.

“We remind the passengers to check the OTS prohibited items list, to avoid delays and long queues in processing. If in doubt, it would be better to just leave the item in their house to avoid confiscation,” Marquez told the Philippine News Agency in a separate interview.

Passengers can no longer retrieve the confiscated items, Marquez added.
“Because we prevent negotiations, which causes corruption. Thus we prohibit passengers from retrieving the confiscated items. The items are placed in a box and will be disposed of by the MIAA, subject to their policy,” Marquez said.

Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines is expecting an average of 7 to 10 percent increase in passenger influx across the 44 commercial airports it operates.

CAAP airports had 231,479 passengers during this period in 2021, and 1,715,720 in 2022.

“Historically, CAAP airports logged an average of 7 to 10 percent increase in (passenger volume) during Holy Week,” CAAP spokesperson Eric Apolonio said in a televised briefing. (PNA)