So many things came up to my mind as soon as I landed at the international airport Terminal 3. First came to my mind is that I wanted to observe what are the changes the Duterte administration brought to the country. It has been a year since President Rodrigo Duterte took office.
Here are my general observations at the airport:
- Smooth exit at the airport – It was a lot faster to exit at the Philippine International Airport. It just took me few minutes, and I was outside the arrival area. Unlike before, I used to fill up a lot of information on a sheet of paper given by flight crew before deplaning. It was really a hassle putting on those pieces of information and write on that paper.
- Obviously, no more incidents of “tanim bala” – This is the modus I’m really scared of to happen to me. I mean it will not just cause a lot of inconveniences, but of course, it changes your life for worse. Imagine if you are a victim; then you will not be able to report back to work in the country you are employed; you will face charges with the Philippine authorities; worse, you will be in jail for an act somebody framed you up.
- OTS focuses on Xray machines, not on the passengers – Those people that manned the Xray machines were focusing on the monitor of the scanners. They will just ask clarifications on few things they might not able to see clearly on the monitor. In my case, they just asked me what’s inside in my small bag, which happens to be a projector. Unlike my earlier experience, they tend to look closely at passengers and asked too many questions about what’s inside in your luggage’s, and if they’re not convinced with your answers, they will open your bags. They will start telling you “bawal yan” bawal ito”. During my previous vacation, that was before Duterte took office, they took imported canned goods from my carry-on luggage. Maybe it was really not allowed. I should have put it on on my checked-in luggage.
- All Xray machines were working – At the local airport in Ozamiz City, I used to experience long queues because scanners were not working. The OTS opened all the bags of the passengers and physically searching all your belongings inside. I mean how can you operate an airport without those machines working? Imagine the hassle it caused. I usually travel with one traveling bag and one box. I used sealed the box with duct tape and tied the box with ropes as my handle, then finally a plastic wrapper around it. Imagine untying all those things to open the box up to show it to OTS people. Horrible.
Overall, at the scale of 10 being the highest, I rated the airport now in the Philippines at 8.5. On my previews vacation I rated it at 5. Although I observed a lot of good improvements, but I felt there could be more improvements that can be done.
On my next post, I’ll be writing observations on our neighborhood regarding peace and order.