On Airport Advertising and Digichive Philippines

Photo courtesy of Inquirer.net
The Philippines is one of the most visited countries in Asia because of its pristine beaches, other tourist hotspots and our cultural heritage. Sure MIAA and most of our local airports with their inadequate facilities and inefficiencies need to improve in order to encourage more tourists to visit the country, but these doesn't necessarily mean that we have the worst airports in the world. In my opinion, here are definitely others who are a lot worse.

Needed Improvements
Like any other airports, MIAA have its shortcomings but since being tagged as the worst airport in 2011, there have been significant and ongoing improvements, especially in its facilities. I think the airport officials and the government took the label as a challenge, which is actually good, since they are now doing rehabilitation and renovations airport-wide. Ongoing constructions include improved toilet facilities, more check-in counters, wider taxiways and plumbing improvements.

Funding Constraints

Constant airport improvements need additional funding, of course. And the airport's operating income is said to be insufficient to fund all the renovations needed. Which is why the present airport management decided to review the advertising contracts which is one of the major source of funding of airports worldwide. And guess what they found out: MIAA receive only 13 Million Pesos yearly for terminals 1, 2 and 3 from a single contractor which is said to be Digichive Philippines.

The Digichive Philippines Issue

According to an article from Inquirer, because MIAA only get a measly 13M income from advertising, which is obviously too little compared to its real worth, they decided to place the advertising contract for re-bidding. As expected, the bidding went higher and in the end won by a different company for P126M. Digichive itself reportedly made a re-bid of P100M a year, a huge leap from its current contract of P13M. But hey, the firm actually do not want to let go of their contract yet, so they filed a case against NAIA and got issued a TRO (courtesy of San Juan RTC) stopping MIAA from awarding the advertising contract to another bidder.

My (Unsolicited) Opinion About This Issue

I agree with the views of the Influential Blogger. Everything is just so hazy and murky on this subject and we need clarification. This Digichive Philippines itself seem to be a secret corporation of sorts, with ingredients that could spark talks of controversies and a lot more issues. And this is actually the first time I heard about them!

In times like this, we acknowledge the need for a transparency and yet we seem to do nothing about it. There should be a clearly-defined rules and regulation on handling advertising contracts and an even clearer documentation on how the revenues are spent.

How interesting annoying. I think we need to delve deeper into the issue and gather more data and information. But this will only happen if MIAA will consent to post the contract they have with Digichive in public. I really hope they do, so this issue can be settled once and for all and the country can move on. Only then we can concentrate and focus on improvement and enhancements our airport desperately needs.

If this doesn't happen, and when all else fails, I only have one suggestion so our airports can achieve a better international reputation: PRIVATIZATION. But this would need a separate post. :)

24 comments:

  1. I think they should have an independent investigation on the previous contract and start from there in finding the root of the problem.

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  2. Didn't ever went to philipins,heard a lot about it's beauty,wish to visit there soon :)

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  3. This issue should be resolved fast so that our airport gets the attention it needs. We'll encourage more tourists to visit the Philippines if they will see a significantly improved NAIA.

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  4. Hope the government will put some action in this issue. It is not nice to know that there are many lapses in our airports because it is mostly visits by foreigners.

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  5. i think the earnings went to the pockets of top officials. what else is new? I'm all for privatization.

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  6. But for now, there are certainly no plans of privatizing MIAA. This calls for a really huge leap for the Palace, although I do agree with the idea. The government should aim at more structural improvements to make the airport listed as one of the most improved in 2013. :-D

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  7. Sad, but what else is new? I do hope they'll do something about this issue and work together for the good of all!

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  8. Corruption and self interest are some factors why some agencies in the Philippines are not progressing and one of these is our airports. Hope they will address some of the negative issues regarding our airports like poor facilities and of course the bidding.

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  9. I am not in favor of privatization. For all we know, costs would be higher. And although cost is not the only consideration, I believe that it must be the government who should run our airports because it's the gateway to our country. A better recourse would be to keep those unscrupulous people, not just Digichive but also those who approved the clearly doubtful contract, from running the airport offices. We need honest people in our government offices.

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  10. They say first impression lasts. Since tourists would come out of our airports before their actual destination, facilities should really be improved. I hope the government can resolve the issue soonest so they can focus on the more important things.

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  11. It is not only advertising that will solve the funds to improve the airport resource allocation is one. Also, there are simple things that can be done for a more comfortable airport. The CR still needs further development. A CR can you imagine. Again, resource allocation is the key.

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  12. I hope that issue will be solve fairly and immediately. I still believe with our government, I hope they the privatization matter is for the good of the many.

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  13. I agree, there should be transparency with regards to rules and regulation on handling advertising contracts and on how the revenues are spent.

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  14. anak ng teteng... 13M ang budget pero ang nanalo sa bidding ay over 100M... paano nangyari yun?

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  15. *sigh* It's so frustrating to hear of news like these, there are so many shady goings on in our government that we really don't know where to start to be able to get out of the mess we're in. I'm all for Privatization if it will benefit our country in the long run.

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  16. It's nice to know that MIAA airport officials have taken the steps to improve the airport's facilities. Being tagged as the worst airport is no laughing matter.

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  17. Privatize the country's sort-of national airport to solve a relatively 'minor' problem? Not going to happen, in my opinion :)

    But IF this pushes through, I hope the Ayala conglomerate takes it - imagine our airport looking like Greenbelt 3 or 5! :D The advertising will be a little more 'high life' but why not :)

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  18. Amazing. I didn't know the issue about Digichive until I've read this post. I guess there is really a call of transparency of how the government and its agencies are doing their work and one of those is how do they award contracts. The public has the right to know.

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  19. honestly, i don't know about this issue but i guess that's the problem most of us are not aware of the things that is happening to our country and that makes the high official free to do those illegal things.

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  20. All of these things happening is always the fault of the last administration, the Arroyo administration, one of the most corrupt

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  21. Our airports should have enough budget to finance its maintenance and for its improvements. This is the gate to our country and everyone should be welcomed in this place with a good ambiance.

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  22. Definately Philippines is a beautiful place for tourists...and airports can help in attracting tourists

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