MALACAÑANG yesterday said the government was prioritizing the implementation of stiffer security measures at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) after the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently raised security concerns over the country’s main gateway.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that they were looking at “recommendations on how the government may tighten its current security measures, particularly as regards the safety of our airports.”
“Ensuring the safety of the traveling public is one of the critical interests of our government in view of the looming threat of terrorism,” Panelo said in a statement issued to Palace reporters.
“We assure everyone that the Philippine government, through the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) and the Office for Transportation Security (OTS), is prioritizing the implementation of strict security measures at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport,” he added.
In the DHS advisory, all airlines issuing tickets for travel between the US and Manila were instructed to advise passengers in writing about the inadequate security measures at NAIA.
The DHS oversees “aviation and border security” and is tasked with securing the US from any threat.
The DOTr said additional security measures for NAIA were in progress, adding that it was buying new security equipment.
The Palace official echoed DOTr’s remark, noting that new security equipment would be installed by the second quarter of 2019
“Procurement of more X-ray machines, walk-through metal detectors, and alarm systems is among the recommendations. We are aware, however, that all these take time and, as airport authorities explained, they expect such equipment to be installed and utilized only in the 2nd quarter of 2019,” he said.