DOTR ASSURES IMPLEMENTATION OF SECURITY MEASURES AT AIRPORTS
The government, through the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Manila international Airport Authority (MIAA) and the Office for Transportation Security (OTS) has assured that they are giving utmost priority and attention to the implementation of strict security measures at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
This year, the US Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration conducted an assessment and gave recommendations regarding airport security enhancement and improvements.
DoTr said MIAA and the OTS have been continuously working and coordinating with other international assessment bodies that include the International Civil Aviation Organization whose latest security audit findings were found to be “generally satisfactory” with ICAO standards of safety and security, with additional recommendations and suggestions regarding the implementation of the corrective action plan crafted by the MIAA and OTS.
Among the recommendations of the TSA include the installation of new equipment such as X-ray machines, walk-through metal detectors, and alarm systems. Procurement of such is already under process, but this will take time because the items are not off-the-shelf and will require lead time for manufacturing and delivery following government rules and regulations. These equipment are expected to be installed and utilized in the second quarter of 2019.
Another recommendation is the conduct of new background check procedures for newly hired airport personnel, which will include neighborhood and NICA (National Intelligence Coordinating Agency) checks for those implementing security control, and submission of new NBI clearances for all MIAA access pass holders.
The TSA also recommended a change in the “security culture” among long-time NAIA personnel in the area of consistent implementation and observance of strict security procedures. In this regard, re-trainings have been, and continue to be, conducted to instill in every personnel the need to be consistent in every aspect of security.
While waiting for the delivery of needed security equipment, Transportation Secretary Art Tugade has given direct instructions to implement manual interventions such as the hiring of additional MIAA-contracted guards 24/7.
“Rest assured that the government, the DOTr, the MIAA and the OTS are fully committed in employing all measures available to ensure the security and safety of the traveling public,” DoTr said.