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Panelo calls out airport officials after bad NAIA experience

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo has called out airport authorities after experiencing inconvenience during his arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport from Japan on Saturday.

At Monday's press briefing in Malacañang, Panelo said he called the attention of Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Ed Monreal about the limited number of functioning carousels and the airport's poor airconditioning system.

According to Panelo, it took him and his companions "more than two hours" to retrieve their luggage.

"Why? Because there was only one or two carousels functioning and there were four trips arriving simultaneously at the airport — the trip from London, from Bangkok, Singapore and from Japan," he said.

"Not only that, the air condition was not functioning, if at all; and there was no space to maneuver or to move, because can you imagine hundreds of passengers in front of one or two carousels," Panelo added.

Panelo said Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade has "assumed responsibility" for the incident and that Monreal has already apologized, telling them that one carousel was not functioning.

"Carousels should be checked on a regular basis," the Palace official advised. "If you do that every week or at least twice a week, I don't think a carousel will break down."

To avoid overcrowding at the carousels, Panelo suggested to NAIA to ask airlines to observe a 30-minute interval between embarking of passengers "so that they will not be all there in one sweep."

"We understand of course, that it's under renovation, but I think they can be better than what happened last Saturday," said Panelo, who was part of the delegation during President Rodrigo Duterte's four-day working visit to Japan. —KBK, GMA News