Departing passengers waiting at a long immigration counter queue at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3. They waited more than an hour before they reached the immigration counter. As a result, some of them missed their flights. Photo by Raoul Esperas.
MANILA - Several departing passengers at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 missed their flights Thursday apparently due to long queue at the departure immigration counter.
As early as 6:30 a.m., passengers were already complaining of the long and slow movement of queue at the immigration counter.
Foreign and local passengers said they waited more than an hour before they reached the immigration counter. As a result, some of them missed their flights.
After hurdling the immigration process, passengers had to again face another queue for the final security screening.
ABS-CBN News learned that a total of 29 passengers missed two Cebu Pacific flights bound for Hong Kong and Singapore.
Ten missed Cebu Pacific flight 5J 108 and 19 missed flight 5J 813.
It was discovered that there were only 8 immigration officers on duty, rendering some of the immigration counters empty.
Some counters had only one immigration officer on duty. Normally, there should be two immigration officers per counter.
NAIA-3 general manager Octavio Lina said they were aware of the lack of manpower from immigration. He said he has repeatedly reminded the Bureau of Immigration to augment their personnel so passengers won't miss their flights.
Lina also reminded the public to arrive at the airport 3 hours before check-in. He said passengers should take into account the ongoing road repairs and constructions around the airport. – Raoul Esperas