TALK OF THE TOWN
By SUSAN PALMES-DENNIS
I STRONGLY believe that the attitudes of civil servants make a good government. A good government makes a good country since it means that its constituents are satisfied with the performance of their leaders.
My single experience at the Manila International Airport—formerly known as the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA)--showed there is hope for this country.
It may be argued that it is a single incident and quite premature to form an opinion on it but even then I think we are going in the right direction.
I tell you this story of my arrival at the Manila International Airport which is something out of the ordinary for us, something that we hear on radios and TV.
The cynics among us see government workers as usurpers who are products of political accommodation. In a not too distant past, I too shared this sentiment. However, it changed last Friday when we arrived.
I was and remain impressed by the attitude of the employees and thought to myself there is hope for this country. They did extra good
Arriving from the US last week with six check-in baggages--two of which were medical devices of my husband Ronnie and four carry on and a cane, it was quite a load that at the end of our journey, the interconnecting flights sapped both our strength and our awareness of our belongings.
I was tired not because of my condition but because it was a long flight. The trip drained me and know it was the same with Ronnie.
Being fatigued I yearned to reach my destination, Cagayan de Oro City, at the soonest possible time. It felt like I didn’t care anymore for our belongings just the medical devices. I know it’s weird but let me laugh about it now.
With Ronnie and me on wheelchairs, we were directed to the Immigration Office. The processing was fast and hassle-free. Then we signed our names and headed outside with the help of some people transferring our baggage for the bus ride to the domestic airport.
As we boarded the bus, we waited for some time before an airport employee with a handheld radio asked me to check in our baggage. I told him that everything was accounted for and he politely asked me to re-check it again.
True enough a bag containing Ronnie’s things was missing. I panicked because if the bag went missing it meant he won’t be able to wear something because we cannot find any clothes of his size here in the Philippines.
In my panic, I asked the airport employee whom I later learned was named Enrico Manansala on what to do to recover Ronnie’s bag. He asked me if I had a claim stub and when I showed it to him, he asked the loaders named Fernando Martinez and Melecio Rojo to account for the bag.
Manansala then asked me to return to the airport carousel where the bags are being unloaded from the plane and I asked him to come with me. To my relief, I saw the bag and I thanked Manansala and the two men for helping me locate it.
We talked for awhile about their jobs and work experiences and Manansala talked about public attitude and distrust towards airport employees whom they perceive to be lazy and overpaid.
Manansala has an eye for details and if not for his help I wouldn’t know what to do. His positive and helpful attitude along with Martinez and Rojo somewhat restored my faith in government.
My experience at the Immigration Office and airport made me believe that there is hope for this country. It is a fact that government workers are harder to motivate and I hope my story can help motivate them.
Congratulations to the employees and management of the Manila International Airport for a job well done. Please continue to do good work not because of the man sitting in Malacañang. After all, a good attitude is everything in the public sector.
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