Words and photos by Christian Imperio
DISCIPLINE is a rare commodity these days. Whether you’re crawling through traffic or a pedestrian crossing the street, we, more often than not, tend to break the rules that govern our society.
But the truth is, this rarity of a feat is not only lacking on the road, but at airports as well. With more than 60,000 international flights and 76,000 domestic flights recorded at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) from January to June 2019, airport passengers tend to defy protocols that lead to a chaotic environment.
In an effort to promote civility within the premises of the airport, the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) has launched a civility campaign dubbed as #DisipliNAIA to combat unacceptable airport behavior.
During the launch of the campaign, MIAA General Manager Ed Monreal said that the #DisipliNAIA initiative aims to practice Filipino values, most especially respect to other people.
“We are going back to basics — basic in a sense na gawin natin ang tama, gawin ang nararapat, even when nobody is watching, even without people telling us what to do,” Mr. Monreal said.
The initiative seeks to establish order and decency, such as standing behind the yellow line at a carousel or immigration, falling in line properly at the boarding gate, picking someone else’s trash or even refraining from occupying a seat with a baggage so that other passengers can sit.
“There may be cynics who would say that the initiative might not take off. Fine, but the important thing is we are doing something, we are responding to the demand of the times. Culture is difficult to change because as we all say, that’s what we grew up with. But if we are all in this together, nothing is impossible to achieve,” he said.
The MIAA’s civility program also seeks to encourage its employees, passengers, or even transport services to promote good manners and right conduct and become civilized airport citizens.
The #DisipliNAIA is composed of internal and external campaigns and forging partnerships to rally support among all stakeholders.
As part of the campaign, the MIAA will conduct regular civility and service excellence workshops among thousands of its employees, partners, and stakeholders.
“There’s no intention of giving out memos. That’s the reason why we’re having this #DisipliNAIA. Even without penalties or sanction, we should take upon ourselves our own responsibility to comply with what is required of us,” Mr. Monreal said.
Mr. Monreal said that citizens and workers of the government should set an example of proper conduct, saying that it is expected from them to practice good behavior.
“Now that we’re launching this, I expect [MIAA employees] to do as you preach, meaning walk-the-talk, follow regulations, and be the examples and leaders for this advocacy,” Mr. Monreal said.
The MIAA will also produce posters, videos, and billboards in order to remind the airport passengers that they are in the #DisipliNAIA zone.
In an exclusive interview with Velocity, Mr. Monreal encouraged all passengers to abide airport rules in order for its civility campaign to succeed.
“Dapat sumunod tayo sa patakaran. Sinasabi ko nga na we can’t do this alone so we need their support to comply kung ano man ang mga dapat gawin. Tulad ng mga policies, sundan natin. Irespeto natin ang mga pasahero. Bawat isa has their own right so wag natin isipin na we’re encroaching on other people’s rights. Respetuhan lang ba,” Mr. Monreal said.
In terms of addressing the traffic buildup at the exit gates at the parking premises, the MIAA said that it will ensure that all of the exit booths will be fully manned to avoid crowding of vehicles at the airport.
As for the slow traffic flow at the arrival area, Mr. Monreal said that they will strictly enforce the two-minute loading and unloading police.
“I encourage people to please practice discipline. It will not eradicate [the problem] but it will definitely help us reduce these concerns,” Mr. Monreal said.