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10. The year of overpriced coffee, helicopters, and rubber boats
First the rubber boats: Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo began investigating the Philippine National Police’s P131-million procurement of 75 rubber boats and 93 outboard motors in 2009. The problem? Apart from purchasing the P350,000-boats for P500,000, they also remained unused because the motors were apparently too heavy to attach.
A few days later, another “overpriced” issue broke—this time about Pagcor’s expensive purchase of coffee also during the Arroyo administration. According to a revelation made by Pres. Noynoy Aquino in his SONA, Pagcor allegedly spent P1,007,408,908.86 on coffee in a span of 10 years.
More days later, Archibald Po, a helicopter supplier, came out announcing that former First Gentleman Mike Arroyo sold five pre-owned helicopters to the PNP for the high price of $350,000 each, thus confirming earlier allegations.
9. Three DPWH officials star in new meme
Department of Public Works and Highways Undersecretary Romeo Momo, Metro Manila Regional Director Reynaldo Tagudando, and South Manila District Engineer Mikunug Macud roused the attention of netizens after a Photoshopped photo of them seemingly engaged in an intense conversation in front of an obviously fake backdrop of the damaged Manila Bay seawall was posted on their official Facebook page and made rounds online. The controversial trio inspired a series of viral memes all over social networking sites, and were even featured on The Washington Post and Wall Street Journal.
8. Government rejects a "world-class freebie"
With budget constraints, fixing up the terminal may be a tad difficult. Fortunately, internationally renowned industrial designer Kenneth Cobonpue, interior designer Budji Layug, and architect Royal Pineda have come up with a pro-bono design for an impending NAIA makeover. Unfortunately, after eight months of planning and legwork, the trio got the shock of their lives when the design contract was surprisingly granted to another team—Leandro V. Locsin & Associates, the company that designed the terminal in the first place. Well, we all know how brilliant that design was.
7. NAIA Terminal 1 dubbed world’s worst airport by Sleeping in Airports website, ranked 5th in CNN’s “Most Hated Airports” list
The Ninoy Aquino International Airport moved up four spots to become No. 1 on this year’s worst airport ranking by website Sleeping in Airports. According to the website, the ranking was based on NAIA’s poor facilities, bribery, and security concerns. Adding to its roster of “prizes,” CNN also described the facility to be “beleaguered by ground crew strikes, unkempt conditions, soup kitchen-style lines that feed into more lines and an overall sense of futility, NAIA brings the term 'Stuck in the 1970s' to a new level. At Terminal 1 all non-Philippine Airlines remain crammed despite serious overcapacity issues and a new and underused Terminal 3 is occupied by a few minor carriers.”
Just last month, Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Jose Angel Honrado revealed that snakes occasionally slip in and out the premises—add that to the bees infestation and migratory bird problems confirmed in earlier reports.
6. Davao Mayor makes it to international headlines
Davao Mayor Sara Duterte may have given the country some renown but not for reasons we prefer. The fearsome mayor repeatedly slugged the local court sheriff in frustration after he failed to follow a request. In the background, bystanders could be heard cheering the mayor on. The video went viral and managed to reach the likes of Al Jazeera, BBC, and Gawker.com. Making it a truly family affair, Duterte’s father, Rodrigo Duterte, current Davao vice mayor, also made headlines—albeit local—after he gave his daughter’s critics the dirty finger in an interview. Her brother, Councilor Paolo Duterte, repeated his father’s vulgar gesture two days later in a separate interview.