After rats, surot in NAIA, airport head threatens to blacklist pest control provider

Lance Spencer Yu

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After rats, surot in NAIA, airport head threatens to blacklist pest control provider

Nico Villarete/Rappler

The Manila International Airport Authority still has a few months to clean up NAIA before it turns over operations to the consortium led by Ramon Ang's San Miguel

MANILA, Philippines – With pest after pest plaguing the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), its general manager tells its housekeeping and pest control providers to “shape up or suffer getting blacklisted.”

Eric Ines, head of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), has begun to crack down on its sanitation service contractors after his “disappointment over recent sightings of pests and insects in Terminals 2 and 3.”

Ines has tasked terminal administration groups to monitor contractors and evaluate whether the current housekeeping and pest control standard operating procedures were enough, given the number of passengers in each terminal.

Contractors must submit weekly and monthly commitments regarding their work. MIAA will also hike the penalties for liquidated damages when it comes to its service contracts.

MIAA stated that most of its housekeeping and pest control contracts are due to expire in 2024.

Mag-eexpire na ang kontrata niyo. Hindi ko lang hindi iri-renew, iblablacklist ko pa kayo (Your contracts are expiring. I won’t just not renew your contract; I’ll also blacklist you),” Ines said in a press release on Tuesday, March 5.

Last week, on February 28, MIAA issued a public apology over reports that passengers had been bitten by bed bugs in Terminals 2 and 3. The airport’s operator then quickly removed the rattan chairs where the pests hid in. (READ: NAIA’s surot-infested rattan chairs, once its pride, are now gone)

But just days later, a passenger in Terminal 3 uploaded a video of a big rat scurrying along the airport’s ceiling lights.

MEETING. MIAA head Eric Ines meets with terminal administrators, service contractors, and health experts from the Bureau of Quarantine and MIAA Medical. Photo from MIAA.
What are contractors doing?

Here are the changes that the contractors have committed to, according to MIAA:

  • increase frequency of surveillance and disinfection
  • augment manpower deployment to ensure round-the-clock response
  • increase visibility
  • recommend a work program that would achieve greater impact of cleaning and disinfection methods without affecting seat availability

Contractors also said that they periodically change the chemicals that they use for deep disinfection since pests can develop immunity to the chemicals over time. These chemicals are approved and regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, according to the contractors.

MIAA’s senior assistant general manager, Beng Reyes, will head an inter-agency coordinating committee which will conduct monthly meetings between private and public sector participants. The committee is expected to generate recommendations for MIAA management to follow.

However, there’s also the question of how long MIAA has left to actually manage the airport.

NAIA will soon be turned over to the consortium led by San Miguel, which recently won the bid to rehabilitate the airport. San Miguel’s group is expected to assume operation by around September 2024.

San Miguel will need hefty loans to pursue NAIA’s long-overdue upgrade, but Ramon Ang has found a willing backer in BDO. Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista told Rappler that BDO chairperson Teresita Sy-Coson has guaranteed to fund Ang’s group. BDO also recently confirmed that its subsidiary, BDO Capital, will serve as the financial arranger for the rehabilitation project, with BDO itself and other banks invited to act as lenders. –

NAIA is 4th worst airport in Asia. Can its new operator turn things around?

NAIA is 4th worst airport in Asia. Can its new operator turn things around?

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Lance Spencer Yu

Lance Spencer Yu is a multimedia reporter who covers the transportation, tourism, infrastructure, finance, agriculture, and corporate sectors, as well as macroeconomic issues.