Air passengers now allowed to bring folded umbrellas in carry-on luggage

Robie de Guzman   •   October 21, 2019   •   844

MANILA, Philippines – Airline passengers will now be allowed to bring folded umbrellas in their carry-on baggage in flights, the Office for Transportation Security (OTS) announced on Sunday.

In a statement, the OTS said the move is in response to public clamor to allow carriage of folded umbrellas in both cabins and checked baggage.

The agency said it decided to ease the policy on bringing umbrellas in airport baggage after a series of consultations with stakeholders.

“The OTS follows the international standard set by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in identifying items to be prohibited onboard which may aid in committing any acts of unlawful interference against civil aviation,” it said.

However, cane umbrellas will remain prohibited in the cabin.

The bringing of umbrellas, especially those with sharp and pointed components, was previously prohibited at Philippine airports as these may be used to cause harm to others.

“Apart from explosives and deadly weapons, some seemingly innocent everyday items are also banned in airplanes as they pose danger to the security of passengers and the aircraft. This includes all types of umbrellas, which were recently included in the revised prohibited items list,” it said.

Skillfully concealed banned items intercepted at Davao Airport

Marje Pelayo   •   February 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A departing passenger was nabbed at Davao International Airport while attempting to sneak in sharp objects past airport screening.

Personnel from the Office for Transportation Security (OTS) found two pieces of nipper and a nail pusher skillfully concealed inside a pomelo fruit on Monday (February 10.)

The x-ray operator Security Screening Officer (SSO) Rolando Pait detected the items after a suspicious image appeared on the x-ray screen.

The owner of the item, identified as Dioleta Barapon, was bound for Cebu via Cebu Pacific flight 5J 598.

According to Barapon, she intentionally hid the items inside the fruit as she considers them her prized possession.

OTS Administrator Usec. Raul Del Rosario warns passengers not to even attempt smuggling illegal items because it may put them in peril.

“Huwag po nating gagawin yung mga ganyan, dahil madedetect po natin yan. Remember, we have procured new and advanced technologies. Gone are the days when we can circumvent security screening procedures by artful concealment,” Del Rosario said.

“Maaari po kayong mapahamak o maabala, dahil baka po mapagkamalan na kayo po ay may hindi magandang intensyon sa pagtatago ng mga prohibited items papasok ng eroplano,” he added.

Del Rosario reminds all passengers to check their luggage before their scheduled flights and make sure no illegal item is inside their bag.

It is also safe to pack your own luggage, Del Rosario added.

Information on prohibited items may be viewed at the agency’s website and official Facebook page.

The incident was properly recorded and the item was properly discharged as part of the agency’s standard operating procedure.

Undas 2019: Passengers reminded to be at transport hubs early for security inspection

Robie de Guzman   •   October 26, 2019

A provincial bus terminal along EDSA

MANILA, Philippines – The Office for Transportation Security (OTS) on Friday reminded passengers to arrive at the airport three hours ahead for international flights, and two hours for domestic flights, to allow enough time for security inspection and other airport procedures.

In a statement, the OTS said this is line with the “Oplan Biyaheng Ayos: Undas 2019” of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for the Catholic community’s observance of annual Undas.

The OTS said security in rail stations, airports, bus terminals, seaports across the country have been heightened in time for Undas when the influx of passengers going to and coming from provinces is expected to be high.

OTS Administrator Undersecretary Raul Del Rosario said the filing of leave of airport Security Screening Officers, who are at the forefront of the implementation of the national transportation security program, have been canceled as the agency implements stricter security control measures under Security Condition Level 2.

Under the heightened security condition, airport security screeners may require shoe inspection when alerted by the walk-thru metal detectors.

Passengers can also expect a stricter screening process by going through full-body scanners and baggage which may undergo Explosive Trace Detection machines, the agency said.

The DOTr earlier ordered for the intensified activation of Malasakit Help Desks in various transport hubs to serve as a one-stop-shop for passenger assistance.

The DOTr said the help desks will be activated from October 25 to November 4, 2019.

Retired military officer named new OTS administrator

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 4, 2019

Retired Lt. Gen. Raul del Rosario

A retired military officer has been appointed as the new administrator of the Office for Transportation Security (OTS).

Retired Lt. Gen. Raul del Rosario will be the new administrator of the OTS which is an attached agency under the Department of Transportation (DOTr).  

Del Rosario aims to improve the transport security programs and initiatives throughout the country.

“In dispensing transportation service to our passengers, safety and security should be an overriding concern. The public avails of our services in the hope that it will bring them to their destinations safely. We must not fail in this regard,” he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte officially signed Del Rosario’s appointment papers on August 28, 2019.

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade expressed confidence that Del Rosario will be able to elevate the country’s overall transportation security measures.

“Ensuring the safety and security of all passengers is a huge responsibility, and I believe that we have the right man for the job,” he said.—AAC


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