This incident happened last January 22, 2013. But during my recent trip last September and November 2013, arriving passengers are now allowed to get regular metered taxis at the Departure area. Thanks for a petition on change.org after some passengers managed to "film" their experience with their smartphones and posted the incident on Youtube.
|Long line as passengers wait for a yellow airport taxi. The regular white taxis are |
no longer allowed to take passengers at the Departure Area.
I arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 at half past 1 in the afternoon. That day, I was looking forward to go home to have a decent sleep. I've been working for more than 12-hours per day during the Sinulog Festival in Cebu and a good rest was what my body really longed for.
I'm not new to airports in Manila. If you don't want to take the Yellow Airport Taxis, you may take a bus that will bring you to the MRT station in EDSA for only 20 pesos, or you may take the regular white taxis at the Departure area on the 3rd level.
I opted to take the regular white taxis and I was glad to see them lined up outside! No need to wait, I told myself. But, the moment I got in, the airport guards suddenly asked me to get out and told the taxi driver to leave. I asked why and they told me that these regular taxis are no longer allowed to take passengers. It was the new order from the airport management that took effect that morning.
Naturally, I was furious... as well as the rest of the passengers who were surprised with this new rule. The guards could not explain why, they were just following orders (as usual!). I went to the complaint desk to express my disappointment. The desk staff told me that I'm now the fifth person to come to their desk to air a similar complaint. They don't even know why it was implemented and they will also have the same problem (how to get out of the airport) when they go home later that day.
Outside, at the Arrival Area, I saw a Resort's World bus and asked if I could take it. I was planning to take a regular taxi at the Resort's World area. However, the clerk refused and said they only take in passengers who have a Resort's World card or who are billeted in the hotel. At this point, I'm really fuming with anger! I asked one airport staff who was manning a taxi booth outside what else are my options if I want to go out of this airport. I also inquired why they no longer allow passengers to take the regular taxis at the Departure Area. Once again, they don't know the answers.
But one staff managed to tell me something. He said that it's usually "palakasan" (having strong ties) with the management and the taxi/bus operator. This is very likely since passengers are left with no choice but to take the Fixed Rate Taxi and the Yellow Airport Taxi with exorbitant fees!
And the result, long lines at the Yellow Airport Taxi section and you can see among the passengers' faces (foreigners and locals alike) the disappointment and weariness! I will no longer relate here how convenient airport transportations are in other Asian countries I've visited. NAIA management must learn from them.
How I managed to get out? There's another bus that brings passengers from one terminal to another. I took it and got down at the Caltex station before the Terminal 4 (Old Domestic). Passengers are only allowed to get down in key areas (Caltex, Terminal 4, Terminal 2 and Terminal 1 respectively). But then again, it's still inconvenient especially when traffic is jammed.
I strongly feel that this needs to be addressed. Passengers must have options and convenience. If they don't feel secure with the regular taxis, it's their prerogative to take the Yellow Airport taxis. But it must never be imposed.
Is this NAIA's version of "It's More Fun in the Philippines"? Or, "It's more Fun in their POCKETS"?
|A Resort's World bus waiting for their clients.|
|These Taxis (yellow and fixed rate) are what the NAIA-3 management want us to take. |
Do you agree that there should be a monopoly of taxi operators inside the airport?