Cobonpue, et al to join team giving NAIA a facelift

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MANILA -- World-famous designer Kenneth Cobonpue, architect Royal Pineda and designer Budji Layug are joining the group working on the rehabilitation of Ninoy Aquino International Airport's (NAIA).

The trio, whose design plan for the Manila airport was shelved in 2011, will be teaming up with Leandro V. Locsin & Associates, the architecture firm originally appointed for the project.

"We met with the Cabinet secretaries and they said they wanted to bring it (the design) back," Cobonpue said.

His group will focus on the overhaul of NAIA Terminal 1, particularly the greeters' area, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said.

"It's about time na gawan sila (the families and friends of travelers) ng komportable, maayos at desenteng lugar. Ito yung tinatawag na greeters' area," Abaya said.

He said he hopes the two groups, despite going head to head against each other in 2011 for the project, can work together for the improvement of the country's main international gateway.

The government has set aside P2.8 billion for the rehabilitation of NAIA Terminal 1 and expects the works to be finished in two years.

"Yung NAIA i-maximize pa natin, dahil sinasabi nga ni [Tourism] Secretary [Ramon] Jimenez [Jr.] ang in-city airport like NAIA is an asset for tourism and for business and the economy," Abaya said.

"So we'll max this out and hopefully we'll come up with a replacement to NAIA which is as convenient as the NAIA now," he continued.

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