for a PNoy government that talks about the matuwid na daan, which is to say doing things correctly and properly and justly, they sure know how to reveal themselves to be on some dirt road.
so yes, NAIA 1 is the worst airport in the world, i know that, and i will not pretend otherwise. but of course it will take international disgust over the airport for some change to happen, and in October a world-renowned team composed of Cobonpue-Layug-Pineda unveils a plan, one that’s aesthetic yes, but also real and concrete, i couldn’t even imagine that they thought this up and ignored completely the structural and electricomechanical (!) needs of the renovation.
but this is what the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Mar Roxas wants us to believe, as he defends the decision to go with an architectural team from the Leandro V. Locsin and Associates (LVLA) for the NAIA 1 renovation, unceremoniously dropping the Cobonpue team. Roxas says:
“They <the LVLA> are in possession of the ‘as designed’ and ‘as built’ plans and blueprints of the airport. LVL’s firm has insights that will be of valuable help in minimizing disruption to operations, as well as shorten the time the rehabilitation will take,” Roxas explained in a text message.
according to the DOTC (it’s unclear if Roxas himself said this), the LVLA also “had a distinct advantage over any other architectural or engineering firm in the country because its founder, the late Locsin, was Terminal 1’s original designer.”
so hold on. LVLA had the advantage because its founder, National Artist for Architecture Leandro V. Locsin, dead since 1994, designed the original NAIA 1? the LVLA is being unilaterally chosen — with no plan revealed to the public as of yet — because they have the blueprints of the airport and therefore know where the pipes are? because they know where the pipes are?
por dios y por santo.
where has common sense gone? the current LVLA, as with any other architectural and design team, would only be looking at NAIA 1’s blueprints, yes? and let’s say members of the Locsin team that put together the NAIA 1 in 1973-1974 were still alive (of course in their 80s now), even they would only be looking at blueprints and old plans, too, yes? pray tell, how would LVLA be any different from other design teams wanting to renovate the NAIA 1?
there’s obviously so much more to the DOTC’s decision to let go of the Cobonpue-Layug-Pineda team, and it reeks of kamag-anak / kaibigan / ka-barilan possibilities if you ask me. lucky for the DOTC, the LVLA website’s down and there’s no existing list online of who its architects are. it would’ve made for a fascinating task of connecting the dots straight to
Malacanang Roxas office (i hear the connection between him and the Locsins are legendary).
but also there’s this. for a PNoy government that demands our support and understanding, they sure know how to put an end to any form of volunteerism from willing citizens. Cobonpue-Layug-Pineda had been working on the NAIA 1 rehabilitation and renovation plan for the past eight (8!) months. and they find out they’re not part of the project only upon the the announcement that the LVLA was the DOTC’s chosen firm.
and as if that isn’t bad enough, the Cobonpue-Layug-Pineda team are made to suffer soundbites from Roxas, who says that function was higher in their list of priorities than having the airport look nice; and from MIAA General Manager Jose Angel Hornedo who says they didn’t sign a contract with the Cobonpue team.
aba mga ser. the Cobonpue-Layug-Pineda team put together that plan because they were asked by the members of PNoy’s Cabinet. puro katrabaho ninyo ang mga ito diba? Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo, Budget and Management Secretary Butch Abad, former Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang? these four requested that the Cobonpue-Layug-Pineda team work on the NAIA 1 redesign. the government asked them to work on that redesign. and this team agreed to work on it, for free.
kaya po walang kontrata mga ser.
and just because something looks nice doesn’t mean it isn’t functional. why do you even look down on the Cobonpue-Layug-Pineda team in this way, Sec. Roxas?
in the end this also reeks of an utter lack of professionalism in the halls of Malacanang. it also reveals how little this PNoy government values creativity and hard work, how little it values the time and energy spent by its own citizens wanting to help out for free. that they can even do this to the Cobonpues and Layugs and Pinedas of this country, few as they are na nga, is beyond me.
by the way, this team was also working within a P1B-peso budget for the complete interior and exterior renovation of the NAIA 1 — way cheaper than the government plan that would cost
P1.6B P1.16B (!!) pesos to renovate only the airport’s interiors.
PNoy invokes matuwid na daan. let’s begin with admitting the real reasons behind the decision to go with the LVLA, shall we? otherwise, Roxas the DOTC and Malacanang just prove they’re on a dark dreary road, that’s as dirty as we can imagine.