Bryan Co named MIAA officer-in-charge after chief Chiong's suspension

Benise Balaoing, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 03 2023 10:28 AM | Updated as of May 03 2023 12:34 PM

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MANILA — Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) Senior Assistant General Manager Bryan Co has been named as the agency's officer-in-charge following the preventive suspension of its General Manager Cesar Chiong, the transportation department said on Wednesday. 

"Sa ngayon ang ipapalit namin ay yung next in line muna, ang Senior Assistant General Manager ay si Mr. Bryan Co," Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo when asked who would head MIAA while Chiong was suspended.

(For now, he will be replaced by the next in line, Senior Assistant General Manager Bryan Co.) 

Chiong on Tuesday said his suspension stemmed from his move to reassign "certain MIAA employees", which he asserted was part of efforts to improve airport operations. 

The suspension order "was based on an anonymous complaint alleging grave abuse of authority," he said in a statement. 

Bautista said reassigning employees was within Chiong's prerogative as MIAA chief.

"Tama, para naman maging mas efficient yung operations ng airport, kaya nga nagulat nga kami na nagkaroon ng ganitong kaso, wala naman kaming alam na complaint ini-file ng kung sino man. But apparently may isang anonymous group na nag-file ng case," he said.

(That's right, so we can make airport operations more efficient. That's why we were surprised, we didn't know a case was filed. But apparently there was anonymous group.)

The official also noted that Chiong's team had so far played a key role in improving operations at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

"Yun pong kanyang team ang nag-iisip kung ano-ano ba yung mga best practice na dapat gawin natin... Ito yung ginagawa ng mga other countries. Pinag-aaralan natin yan in terms of customer service, in terms of safety and security, yun po ang importante kasi eh, in terms of making the facilities accessible," he explained.

(His team is in charge of studying best practices of other countries in terms of airport management. We study those in terms of customer service, safety and security, accessibility of facilities, these are important.)

Chiong's suspension followed a power outage at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3, which cancelled several flights on Labor Day, Monday. 

A separate glitch on New Year's Day also grounded hundreds of flights and affected some 65,000 travelers.

The Philippine airspace will be closed for 6 hours on May 17 to allow authorities to replace an equipment that faltered and caused the Jan. 1 travel chaos.