Lines of air passengers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 on Friday morning were shorter than in past days despite the Holy Week rush and the lack of immigration counters at the country's main airport.
GMA News' Victoria Tulad reported that passenger queues were relatively shorter at NAIA-3, although lines were long at some check-in counters.
NAIA's Gates 1, 2, and 3 normally have longer queues. Gate 4, on the other hand, has shorter lines, the report said, adding that Gate 5 was opened for OFWs and Gate 6, which is supposedly for flight crew, was opened to other passengers to reduce congestion at the airport, but only for the Holy Week.
A vacationer named Tessie Rabago from Illinois, USA said she intended to go home to the Philippines for the Holy Week.
"Ang Mahal na Araw dito is beautiful. That's why [I go home]...You cannot see that one in the United States like --the penitencia," she said.
Meanwhile, US-bound Kalina Viele, with her grandmother, said they were in NAIA-3 four hours before their 8 a.m. flight due to the long queues at immigration counters.
Another passenger, Aliein Doloricon said she always goes home to her province in Surigao even without his wife and children.
Manila International Airport Authority General Manager Ed Monreal on Thursday advised passengers to be in the airport at least 3 hours for international flights and two-and-a-half hours for domestic flights.
"The reason why we're maintaining that is because when we encourage passengers coming in much earlier than three hours would result in a more congested facility. Kasi 'yung mga pasahero ... ay hindi pa matutugunan ang kanilang pangangailangan sa check-in at that time, because majority of the airlines open at least three hours before departure time," he said.
But flag carrier Philippine Airlines advised its passengers to be in the airport at least four to five hours before their flight.
For its part, Cebu Pacific airline has suggested that its passengers should check in online, on through mobile application, or at check-in kiosks available at the airport to facilitate the process.
Immigration officers, meanwhile, appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to address the issue on their overtime pay.
Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente on Wednesday said they will deploy additional 170 immigration officers at the country's international airports this Holy Week, in which 150 would be assigned at NAIA and the remaining 20 will be at airports in Clark, Davao, Kalibo and Mactan. —Marlly Rome Bondoc/LBG, GMA News