NAIA TERMINAL 1 CLOSED BY ORDER OF MAYOR JOEY

PARANAQUE CITY, November 26, 2003 (STAR) By Evelyn Macairan - Parañaque City Mayor Joey Marquez said yesterday said airport officials would have to redirect the flights of international airlines by early next week after he decided the city would close the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 for failure of authorities to comply with the building’s safety regulations.

Marquez told The STAR last Tuesday afternoon that he instructed his legal department to draft a letter to Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Edgardo Manda informing him of the city government’s decision to shut down the operations of Terminal 1 on Monday.

"I think we have given them ample time to either submit to us their copy of their occupancy permit or allow our building officials to conduct an inspection, but they have yet to comply up to this time and so we would be forced to close them down. There should be no compromise on safety," says Mayor Marquez.

He expects the notice of closure to be sent to Manda’s office by today. He would give MIAA three days to vacate the premises and would close down their operations by Monday, Dec. 1.

"They would just have to redirect their flights to Terminals 2 and 3," the mayor said.

Marquez said Terminal 1 would remain closed until such time airport authorities are able to comply with City Hall‘s requirement to present an occupancy permit, or if they can pass building inspection.

"The problem with MIAA is that they have not secured a permit. There are surely penalties for operating without an occupancy permit, but I don’t know how much they have incurred. What kind of example can we show private individuals if government agencies themselves do not follow the law," the mayor added.

The city government had sent letters to Manda several times since last year, reiterating the need for MIAA to secure a certificate — supposedly a pre-requisite before a building could be occupied as stated under Sec. 309 of the National Building Code (NBC).

When a building owner applies for an occupancy permit, the concerned city or municipality government sends inspectors to confirm if the contractor followed the specification stated in the plans or blueprint and the NBC regulations.

The local government of Parañaque began checking on the records of major establishments in the city after the 1995 Ozone Disco tragedy in Quezon City.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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