MANILA -- Another honest pushcart retriever has given pride to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) after he returned 2,400 Australian dollars or about P90,000 to its rightful owner on Wednesday evening.
In his report to Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) general manager Jose Angel Honrado, NAIA Terminal 1 manager Dante Basanta identified the honest cart retriever as Rodolfo Bernal Jr., 46, resident of Maligasang, Imus, Cavite.
Bernal was reportedly doing his routine retrieval of all unattended baggage carts at the secondary road, old arrival area driveway when he noticed a gray plastic pouch left behind by an unknown passenger at around 9:45 p.m.
Bernal then immediately reported the incident to his superior, Andro Laxina, and brought the item to the terminal's lost and found section.
An inventory conducted by authorities revealed that the pouch contained 15 pieces of 100 Australian dollars, 18 pieces of 50 Australian dollars, a passport under the name of a certain Koby Edward Max Griffiths, and an HSBC online security device.
Almost three hours after the pouch was found, passenger Koby Edward Max Griffiths, accompanied by his father, returned to NAIA Terminal 1 to inquire at the lost and found section.
Thanks to Bernal, the missing gray pouch was returned to the Griffiths.
Laxina, supervisor of the MIAA porterage section, and airport police conducted an inventory in front of the owner, who confirmed that all the items were intact.
Griffiths wanted to see the honest cart retriever to express his gratitude. Bernal, however, had already gone home.
Bernal has been working as a contractual airport employee for 14 years now.
He earns P12,000 a month. He is on a no-work no-pay daily salary basis equivalent to P456 each day.
He allots P100 pesos for his transportation daily, two hours travel from his house to the airport.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News, Bernal said it never came to his mind to keep the items for himself.
"Never ko po naisip na itago. Kapag po pinagsusumikapan mo po ang kagustuhan ng Diyos, never na sasagi sa iyo kahit na katiting na ganun," he said.
Bernal is the second honest airport cart retriever to return left behind items of arriving passengers.
Jony Villon was the first honest cart retriever for the year 2014. He returned $4,800 left behind by an arriving passenger also at NAIA Terminal 1.
Basanta said the MIAA is proud of the exemplary honesty of their workers. -- Report from Raoul Esperas