Renaming of NAIA gets mixed reactions

The move to rename the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Pilipinas (PPP) drew mixed reactions from travel and tourism individuals in Davao City. 

On Thursday, Representatives Paolo Duterte, Lord Allan Velasco, and Eric Go Yap pushed for the renaming the country’s primary airport through House Bill No. 7031. 

NAIA is the main international gateway to the Philippines and serves as a hub for the country’s major carriers.

Davao travel blogger Glen Santillan of Escape Manila

Davao travel blogger Glen Santillan of Escape Manila recommended to revert the airport to its previous name Manila International Airport (MIA) for easy recall to travelers. 

“Personally, better na ibalik ra sa Manila International Airport para easy recall sa travellers, especially foreign travelers. I agree i-change pero unta ibalik lang sa dating name para wala na kaayo adjustment in terms of recall,” he said. 

Santillan’s Escape Manila is a personal travel blog turned into a community travel site featuring travel stories, travel guides and itineraries from Filipino travelers. Santillan, a frequent flier, has visited all the 81 Provinces in the Philippines. He has also traveled to some countries around the globe. 

Alexander Divinagracia, former president of the Davao Travel Agencies Association (DTAA) and general manager of Globalwings Travel and Tours

Alexander Divinagracia, former president of the Davao Travel Agencies Association (DTAA) and general manager of Globalwings Travel and Tours, said renaming the airport will have no impact in terms of promoting the Philippines but what is necessary is upgrade the facilities of NAIA.

“Though there were big changes in the airport now compared to the past administration, I believe there’s still a need to improve more. The connection from one terminal to the other should be improved for the convenience of the connecting passengers. Yong hindi ka na lalabas ng building to get a shuttle. I’ve been to other airports like Singapore Changi Airport, Suvarnabhumi (BKK) Airport, Kuala Lumpur International Airport, and Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi. Di ba ang ganda ng facilities nila in terms of transfers, etc. Renaming the airport for me, personally lang ha will not matter. But improving the existing facilities is a ‘BIG YES’ for me,” Divinagracia said. 

Carmel Carpio, managing director of TravelDUO Travel and Tours

Carmel Carpio, managing director of TravelDUO Travel and Tours and tour operator for Guam servicing the Philippines market, said she does not think now is the right time to change name. 

“Although, I’m in favor of the new name, but just don’t do it now when we have bigger pressing issues to solve,” she said. 

On his end, Julius R. Paner, senior municipal tourism officer of Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur, said he is in favor for the renaming, however, instead of naming it in Filipino term, it should be in English just to be tourist-friendly.

Julius R. Paner, senior municipal tourism officer of Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur

Based on the press release, renaming NAIA will “finally get rid of the [airport’s] bad image” and enable it to “start fresh,” after previously being named as one of the worst airports in the world. The proposed bill will be calendared also for first reading where it will be referred to the Committee on Transportation for deliberation.