MANILA, MARCH 23, 2007 (STAR) By Michael Punongbayan - Celebrating 25 years of service, the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) will launch a project today to improve passenger-related services at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

To boost the morale of employees who have done outstanding jobs in the past year, airport officials will also hold a performance awards night next week to honor model personnel, managers and programs that made the country’s premier airport a better and friendlier place for all.

MIAA general manager Alfonso Cusi said MIAA’s silver anniversary will mark the launch of various passenger service improvement programs, like the "Serbisyong Tama. Para sa Bansa" project.

He announced that this year’s celebration will focus on instituting new passenger service improvement programs under the theme of providing "true service for the nation."

Cusi said the MIAA and other government and non-government agencies located at the NAIA, will launch a new program to inculcate courtesy and prompt service among the personnel of NAIA and other agencies stationed at the airport today. Cusi will also lead in the unveiling of a "Primer on Service Standards for Government and Non-Government Employees."

Top officials from the Bureau of Customs, Bureau of Immigration, Office of Transport Security, Department of Transportation and Communications, Philippine National Police-Aviation Security Group, Department of Tourism, Bureau of Animal Industry, Bureau of Plant Industry, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Department of Health, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, National Bureau of Investigation and the Passcor and Lanting Watchman security agencies will be present during the occasion.

Cusi said a host of activities were lined up by the anniversary steering committee led by its chairman, Tirso Serrano, who is also assistant general manager for airport development and corporate affairs.

"Aside from employee morale-boosting activities and community service-related activities, the (MIAA) seeks to take the opportunity to mark this milestone event by using its experience in airport management over the last 25 years as its rallying point for reinforcing its commitment for dependable airport administration and service excellence under the leadership of General Manager Cusi," Serrano said.

"We also pay tribute to the hard work and daily sacrifices of the men and women who help make the airport work effectively and safely on a 24/7 basis, in terms of operational, security and all the functions in our various technical support and control areas through the years, citing of course the vision, leadership and dedication of past general managers of the NAIA," he added.

Serrano said MIAA’s anniversary month began with a Thanksgiving Mass on March 5 and will end with the yearly performance awards (MYPA) night on March 30 at the MIAA administration grounds.

Recognition will also be given to outstanding projects covering various areas of the airport’s concerns, like passenger services, safety and security measures and other management improvement and reform projects undertaken over the past year.

In announcing the activities, Serrano said MIAA’s website will also be re-launched and that there will be a walk for a cause, a blood donation drive with the Philippine National Red Cross, static exhibits within the terminal complex, internal publications and some sports exhibition games.

"Together, we hope to send a message that MIAA – and NAIA for that matter – have a tradition of professionalism, competence and service and possesses the experience, track record and capacity, and most essentially, the enthusiasm and commitment to take on much greater challenges in the years ahead," he said.

More tourists in Metro, but for shorter stays By Mayen Jaymalin The Philippine Star 03/26/2007

More tourists came to Metro Manila for the month of January this year compared to the same period in 2005 but stayed for a shorter time, according to records from the Department of Tourism (DOT).

DOT data showed that 272,525 foreign visitors were recorded this January, a 1.4 percent increase compared to 268,818 international arrivals for the same period last year.

The average occupancy rate in Metro Manila hotels went up to 75.74 percent last January from 75.42 percent. First-class hotels registered the highest occupancy rate of 80.44 percent, followed by deluxe hotels at 75.83 percent while standard hotels registered 74.64 percent occupancy.

Hotels in Pasay City or those near the airport posted an 88.36 occupancy rate while those in Makati, Pasig and Mandaluyong had a 78.45 percent occupancy rate.

DOT records, however, showed that hotel guests’ overall average length of stay was 2.51 nights, which is 9.7 percent lower than the 2.78 nights spent by travelers a year ago.

Most of the tourists who flocked to Metro Manila are South Koreans, followed by those from the United States and Japan.

Other countries whose nationals choose the Philippines as a destination are China, Canada, Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and the United Kingdom.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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