The local government collects environmental fees at the port. I assume they're putting all those funds to effective use. The good news is that, at the very least, the existing Caticlan airport is a testament to the value that the local government puts to tourism. Look - 1) LCD screens at the departure area -
2) Comfortable, sturdy chairs -
3) Clean lavatory, with faucets that actually work and what do you know, soap and toilet paper -
4) Diaper changing and nursing station -
5) Mobile phone charging station -
6) And coffee/pasalubong shops that do not look like they hail from Cubao ibabaw -
The first time I went through the Caticlan airport was in the mid-2000s. At the time, the airport had nothing of these conveniences. It didn't even have a conveyor belt. But look at the airport now, a mere 5 years later.
I got curious at what seemed like a miracle so I Googled a little. In 2008, there were talks of expanding the Caticlan airport to the tune of P2.5B. It was to be a BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) arrangement to be undertaken by a PRIVATE company called the Caticlan International Airport and Development Corporation. Is this the result of that expansion? If so, well done. Take a bow.
What we're saying is, with political will and efficient financial planning, improvements can be made. So it's really a wonder why the NAIA Domestic Terminal still looks so spent. That airport was built in 1948 and I don't know if it's ever been renovated. What's taking us too long? Hay. At least it has a nursing station -
And a play area -
At least, lang ha.
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