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

Robie de Guzman   •   October 26, 2019   •   1272

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.

Duterte inaugurates Sangley Airport in Cavite

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 17, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte inaugurated the Sangley Airport in Cavite on Saturday (February 15) which aims to ease the air traffic congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

The Sangley Airport Development Project is under the Duterte Administration’s Build Build Build Program. Small commercial flights and light cargo aircraft are already operational since Saturday.

In his speech, President Duterte commended Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade for successfully completing the development project.

The President also said he will use Sangley Airport when he goes back to Davao after finishing his term.

“I will take my last flight as President to Davao. I will use this airport,” he said.

Once the project is completed, Sangley Airport will have four operational runways and a terminal which can accommodate 100 million passengers every year.—AAC (with reports from Benedict Samson)

PNR unveils two new train sets

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 14, 2020

The Philippine National Railways (PNR) unveiled two new train sets on Friday (February 14).

The two 8100 series of diesel multiple unit (DMU) delivered from Indonesia will begin operating on Tuesday (February 18) from Tutuban to Alabang station. It is expected that these series can serve 1,000 passengers per trip.

Passengers may avail free rides during the trains’ 150-hour validation and static test which will last for 10 days.

PNR General Manager Junn Magno led the unwrapping of the 8100 series consisting of two (2) trainsets with four-car formation per set.

“With the additional new trains, ang estimate namin, the whole fleet can now accommodate additional 35,000 passengers, and it will be increasing in the next few years,” he said.—AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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 www.ots.gov.ph and official Facebook page.

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

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