Renovation of NAIA Toilets Also Good for OFWs

The three-month deadline imposed by MIAA GM Jose Angel Honrado upon himself to make

ofw naia

the NAIA toilets clean and supplied with water, soap and toilet paper is good news not only for tourist but also for OFWs and their families.

Last March, when I sent my brother off at the NAIA, I mustered all my strength so I wouldn’t puke at the smell of the toilets. There was no water. But I had to choose between puking and peeing on my pants, as I couldn’t hold it any longer.

OFWs saved the country from the 2007-2010 global crisis from going under, but look at the treatment they’re getting from their own airport:

  • Tinataboy ang mga pamilya nila ng mga security guards out of the departure area. (Tama rin yong objective, pero may sistema sana.)
  • Pinapaalis ang van na inarkila ng OFW within a few minutes of arrival sa departure area, pero marami namang naka-park doon na siempre alam ninyo na kung sinu-sino ang mga may-ari. (Tama uli ang objective, pero fair kayo dapat.)
  • Tinitiis nila ang amoy at kung ano ang nasa toilet bowls sa restrooms, toilets o CR.

ofw naia 2 beije

OFWs sent nearly $18.77 billion to the Philippines in 2010, accounting for nearly 10 percent of the country’s total GDP, according to the BSP. It also accounted for nearly one-third of the country’s Gross International Reserves of $62.1 billion as of December 2010.

The World Bank’s estimate was even higher at $21.3 billion, probably because it had estimates of remittances that didn’t pass thru BSP-supervised entities. This total pushed the Philippines to rank fourth in the World Bank’s chart on total inward remittances worldwide in 2010.

$21.3 billion — wow, that’s 34.3 percent of the Philippines’ 2010 total foreign reserves! That’s more than one-third.

I hope the NAIA and the newer airports consider the OFW and Pinoy culture, particularly the need for families to be together at the last hours/minutes before departure. Imagine, hindi nga naman kayo magkikita over a period of one year or two years, and even three years, so it’s understandable that the children, the mothers, fathers, wives and husbands maximize the time to be together.

I hope they come up with an airport departure-area design that respects this OFW reality, and I hope they finally clean up the toilets.

The last time I was at the NAIA arrival area, ang maganda ay inalis na nila yong 30-pesos fee sa covered area, pero pinalitan naman nila yong signages from alphabets to numbers. Ang hirap tingnan kung nasaan yong inaantay mo, lalo na kung hindi mo na kabisado yong itsura ng inaantay.

At least, kung alphabets, kahit walang prior usapan, common sense na tatayo doon sa start ng family name yong arriving person.

P.S.: Kahit walang TP, basta malinis, walang amoy, okay ang flush, nakikita agad yong flush button, may tubig ang faucet, at may sabitan ng bag. If you’re concerned about vanishing TP rolls, put the TP rolls outside the cubicles.

Photo credits:

  • top photo by orangeyume of
  • second photo by beije of

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