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DOTr vows strict Naia security after US travel advisory

By: - Reporter / @CMarquezINQ
/ 07:57 PM December 26, 2018
NAIA Terminal 3

Bomb sniffing dogs at Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (File photo by NIÑO JESUS ORBETA / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) assures passengers of its “utmost priority and attention” to security measures at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) after a travel advisory was supposedly issued by US Department of Homeland Security.

“This is to assure the traveling public that the Philippine government, through the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) and the Office for Transportation Security (OTS) are giving utmost priority and attention to the implementation of strict security measures at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport,” the DOTr said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

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STATEMENT ON THE SUPPOSED TRAVEL ADVISORY ISSUED BY THE US DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITYThis is to assure the…

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Posted by Department of Transportation – Philippines on Wednesday, December 26, 2018

The DOTr issued the statement after a viral Facebook post showed a sign, allegedly posted by the Department of Homeland Security at a US airport, saying that NAIA “did not maintain and carry out effective aviation security measures.”

“Earlier this year, the US Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration conducted an assessment and gave recommendations regarding airport security enhancement and improvements,” the DOTr said.

After the recommendations, DOTr agencies worked with international assessment bodies — such as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

The DOTr also noted that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recently found MIAA and OTS “generally satisfactory” in terms of safety and security standards.

“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,” the DOTr said.

The DOTr also noted that among TSA’s recommendations were “the installation of new equipment such as X-ray machines, walk-through metal detectors and alarm systems.”

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The DOTr said the procurement of the items was already under process, but it would undertake manufacturing and delivery and must follow government rules and regulations.

It added that the equipment would be expected to be installed in the second quarter of 2019.

The TSA also recommended to conduct “new background check procedures for newly hired airport personnel” which will include the help of National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA).

TSA also asked the department to change “security culture” among NAIA personnel for “consistent implementation and observance of strict security procedures.”

Meanwhile, as the DOTr awaits the delivery of security equipment that Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade ordered to implement “manual interventions such as the hiring of additional MIAA-contracted guards.”

The US Department of Homeland Security oversees “aviation and border security” and is tasked with securing the US from any threat. /atm

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TAGS: airport security, DOTr, NAIA security, US Department of Homeland Security
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