(File photo)

The local office of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said the Puerto Princesa City International Airport (PPCIA) is among the first airports to comply with the order to have a “Heroes’ Lounge” for active and retired soldiers and policemen and their families.

CAAP chief Percy Malonesio said the PPCIA the lounge was opened when the airport had its inauguration in 2017.

He said they called it the “VIP Guest Lounge” instead of the “Heroes’ Lounge” in honor of the military and police personnel who are retired and are currently on active duty and to show them gratitude for their services to the country.

“Matagal na tayong mayroon niyan, since pag-open pa lang ng airport. Tinatanggap natin sila just inform us lang kasi ‘first come, first serve.’ Basta sabihin nila na mga military, police sila o ‘yong mga naglikod sa bayan,” he pointed out.

(We already have it a long time ago, and since the airport opened. We always receive them they just need to inform us because it is on a ‘first come, first serve’. They just have to tell us that they are soldiers or policemen.)

He said they do not have any plan to change the name of the facility to “Heroes’ Lounge” despite the order recently of the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

The DOTr in a directive ordered all CAAP-operated airports in the country to open the lounge for the purpose. It provides comfortable seats, relaxing interiors, and free Wi-Fi.

“Pareho lang ‘yan ng facility [ang heroes lounge at VIP guest lounge]. May mga upuan at iba pa, name lang ang pinagkaiba but ‘yong services nila ay pareho. Hindi na siguro kailangan na palitan (Heroes’ Lounge or VIP Guest Lounge, they’re the same. There are chairs and other amenities, the only difference is the name but the services are the same. I don’t think there is any need to change),” he said.

The same lounge is also available for use in eight international airports in the country including General Santos, Zamboanga, Davao, Kalibo, Laoag, Bohol-Panglao and Iloilo.

 The Butuan, Lagundingan, Bacolod-Silay, Cotabato, Tacloban, Dipolog, Dumaguete, Legazpi, Naga, Pagadian, Roxas, San Jose, Tuguegarao, Virac, Cauayan and Ozamiz airports will also have the same lounges.

There are 24 lounges that operate since last year, DOTr said.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.