Well this is certainly a breath of fresh air. It's not as fresh as I would like. But it's fresh nonetheless.
NAIA has long been a running joke for the past few years now. It was named as the worst airport in the world by Guide to Sleeping in Airports for three years. It eventually improved. But it is still considered as one of worst by the website and even flight crews. The "Tanim Bala" issue got people riled up (link). And now, its already-oddly-designed runways, being perpendicular and all, are the ones causing problems... well one in particular.
Problems in NAIA have become the norm. And for the past administration, the problems seemed to revolve around... well... hmm... luck (link)? I kid... I kid... hehe.
But seriously though, the past administration was at a lost when it came to managing the transport sector. I was particularly irked with the then DOTC, the MMDA (link) and the leaderships stubbornness in keeping the officials in place. And as disheartening as it is for me to say, I wouldn't have blamed Tugade if he went after Honrado or Abaya. But he kind of didn't.
Tugade on NAIA runway closure: "I want all runways examined. I promise, my friends, this won't happen again." pic.twitter.com/s6HFJZBdPz— Chrisee V. Dela Paz (@chriseedelapaz) July 19, 2016
Transport secretary Arthur Tugade, in front of business leaders and executives last July 19, manned up and took full responsibility for the damaged runways that caused delayed and diverted flights as well as, pending investigations, damage on an Eva Air Boeing 747.
On the surface, this action embodies the professionalism for which this nation has been starving. From last administration's transport heads' politics of convincing that it was not their fault or they're doing the best they can, we see a fresh political stance wherein one of our transport heads convinced the public that this sort of mishap will not be tolerated and it will not happen again. For the first time in a long time, an appointed government official acknowledged issues without particularly acknowledging a culprit. Tugade essentially put the pressure on himself to get things done regardless of context.
Looking at context has been a constant plea of the Duterte administration. When he joked about that Australian rape victim, his team tried to convince us he was taken out of context. When Duterte antagonized the media, they did the same thing. Whenever we read or watch news about suspected drug pushers or users being killed instead of being just wounded or simply arrested, they convince us that the context was that the suspects endangered the lives of the operatives. And here we have Tugade who effectively said "Fuck context".
This post is not meant to praise Arthur Tugade. This is not meant to take back my stance on my last post where I said I will refrain from simply accepting this administration's stances on issues as the best course of action (link). This post is meant to call out people who still subscribe to the politics of context exclusively. Context, after all, is political and not factual in nature.
Arthur Tugade manned up. That doesn't deserve our praise since that is what we should demand out of our leaders. But it deserves acknowledgement. Hopefully, his politics doesn't get tainted by the noxious politics of Panelo and the rest of his allies in the Duterte administration.