Filipinos were caught by surprise on June 25 after a bill to rename the NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport) was filed at the House of Representatives.
The move was made by three congressmen, Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco, ACT-CIS Representative Eric Yap, and presidential son and Davao City 1st District Representative Paolo Duterte.
The three stated that since the NAIA is the center of international gateway it is identified as belonging to the Philippines, thus it should be renamed to ‘Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Pilipinas.’
They said, “With the proposed name, the airport will easily be identified as the international doorway of the country, in view of it being in Filipino language and branding it as the international airport of the Philippines,”
However, the bill was criticized by many and even celebrities voiced out their sentiments on the untimely filing of such a bill knowing that the country is still suffering from the pandemic.
K Brosas slammed the government as she questioned their priorities.
Talagang yan pa talaga uunahin ano? Parang walang pandemic at sandamakmak na problema ang bansa natin eh.. haaay! Sige gawin nyong “please leave bruha ka!” Airport .. chosssss! 😅🙄 https://t.co/u02LaHHrg9
— carmela brosas (@kbrosas) June 26, 2020
Alessandra de Rossi made a sarcastic comment that this might help resolve the pandemic crisis and hunger.
I think pag nagpalit na ng name yung NAIA, mawawala tong covid at gutom ng mga tao. Promise. Laban! Choz.
— alessandra de rossi (@msderossi) June 26, 2020
Edwin Lacierda also ironically questioned what Ninoy Aquino has done to the pandemic to cause the removal of his name, knowing that it was tagged as a symbol for being known as an opposition leader.
Mawalang galang na po, ano ang kasalanan ni Ninoy Aquino sa Covid pandemya na kinailangang palitan ang pangalan ng paliparan natin sa dami ng problema ngayon?
— Edwin Lacierda (@dawende) June 26, 2020
Dr. Gia Sison angrily reminded the government that the country is still facing the COVID-19 pandemic.
May COVID pa po baka nalilihis na tayo sa problema, tsaka na yung pagpalit ng pangalan. Guys, priorities naman! Pucha!
— Dr. Gia Sison (@giasison) June 25, 2020
Jasmine Curtis, Erwan Heussaff, Kakie Pangilinan, and others also expressed their contradictions regarding the bill.
Whoever put this picture on this tweet 👋👋👋👋 https://t.co/70dsZnxbJ2
— Erwan Heussaff (@erwanheussaff) June 25, 2020
whoever manages this account if you see this im free thursday night are you free thursday night so i can take you out on thursday night if you’re free i’d like to hang out thursday night please message me back if you’re free thursday night when i am free https://t.co/DvQxHTOrqd
— tw: #HijaAko content !! (@kakiep83) June 26, 2020
"Kim there are people dying" https://t.co/AZWdampaIh
— Samantha Lee (@givemesam) June 25, 2020
A netizen even pointed out that changing airport names involves expenses, and knowingly president Rodrigo Duterte had said that the budget for the pandemic is tight but maybe a budget was set aside for this, he jokingly posted.
Ilang aiport sa ibang bansa ang nagpalit ng pangalan at gumastos sila ng malaki. Tandaan, sabi ni Tatay Digong wala na tayong pera para sa pandemic pero malay natin dyan may budget. Charot! https://t.co/nmAs9h4fJ5
— Charot! (@IamCharotism) June 25, 2020
Another netizen also thinks that it should be said in English NAP (National Airport of the Philippines) or better yet ‘No Action Plan.’
Inglisin na lang. National Airport of the Philippines. NAP parang No Action Plan lang. Ang mantra ng current admin.😒 https://t.co/fBhjwO0arO
— Raquel Fortun (@Doc4Dead) June 25, 2020
To know which new name is more suitable to netizens the Lionheartv team made a poll on whether PAPAPI (Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Pilipinas) or PIA (Philippine International Airport) would be a better replacement.
Kung papalitan na ang Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), anong gusto ninyong ipalit?
And the results showed that more are in favor of naming the airport PIA rather than the proposed PAPAPI by congress.
But still, the majority criticized the bill for its untimely proposal since the country is still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and also dropping the name of Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. is like taking away a symbolic inspiration that would remind Filipinos about the democratic movement and it as well violates a sense of history.