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BI launches “e-gates” for faceless transactions at NAIA

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, July 19th, 2018


PASAY CITY, the Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Thursday (July 19) started the four-day random testing on actual passengers of its Electronic Gate System (E-Gate) project at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3.

This aims to fine-tune the program and the machines before its official launch on Monday (July 23).

BI Deputy Commissioner Tobias Javier the project is expected to relieve passengers of the hassle of queuing in manual counters as the machines would cut processing time of passengers from the present 45 seconds to just 8 to 15 seconds.

The electronic gates are provided with modern security features such as facial recognition, biometric scanning, barcode reading, and smart card recognition which will help immigration officers to detect passengers with derogatory records as well as those who are in the immigration blacklist, watch list and hold departure list.

BI, however, explained that the electronic counters are initially open for Filipino passengers with machine-readable passports (MRP). Meanwhile, senior citizens in wheelchairs and other handicapped travelers and children will still have to go through the regular counters.

A total of 11 e-gates will be installed at NAIA Terminal 1 and Terminal 3. The other five will be installed at the Mactan international airport in Cebu; three at the Clark international airport in Pampanga; and two at the Davao International Airport before the year ends. – Joan Nano / Marje Pelayo

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Ethics investigation underway vs. OFW  Rep. John Bertiz

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – OFW Representative John Bertiz filed a resolution on Wednesday (October 3) seeking an investigation on himself following the incident at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Bertiz drew flak over his display of arrogance against a screening officer who asked him to remove his shoes as part of the airport’s security protocol.

Several incidents also placed the controversial lawmaker in hot water prior to the airport scene.

He was caught on video engaging in a brawl with a leader of an overseas Filipino workers’ (OFW) group in Hong Kong.

He was also criticized for his inappropriate remarks during the oath-taking of new engineers where he threatened those who do not acknowledge Special Assistant to the President Bong Go of not receiving their professional license.

House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez recently said that he will initiate an investigation on Bertiz to the House Committee on Ethics.

If proven to have violated the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, Bertiz may face suspension or worst, dismissal as a representative. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Grace Casin)

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OFW Rep. John Bertiz breaks airport security protocol on viral video

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, October 1st, 2018

ACTS-OFW Party-list representative John Bertiz (right) showing the security officer his NAIA security ID. | Image grabbed from Gifinoy’s posted video


MANILA, Philippines – A party-list lawmaker is under fire for breaking security protocol at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on Saturday morning (September 29).

ACTS-OFW Party-list representative John Bertiz was seen on a viral video ignoring the security officer who asked him to take his shoes off at the screening line for inspection.

He went on to pick up his bag. Not satisfied, he turned around and angrily confronted the screening officer while showing him his ID card. He even grabbed the security officer’s ID card.

Prior to Bertiz, the video showed Ilocos Norte Representative Imee Marcos entering the frame without her shoes on.

Security personnel at NAIA are ordered to implement strict screening procedures because of the implementation of Security Condition Level 2 Alert, part of which is to order passengers to remove their shoes.

The video description claimed that Bertiz, after the incident, asked Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Ed Monreal to dismiss the security officer from his post.

The security officer was identified as Hamilton Abdul of the Office for Transportation Security (OTS).

Following the incident, Bertiz explained his side of the story and said he wanted to accost airport personnel for letting in some Chinese nationals, escorted by NAIA staff, without going through screening machines.

“Nakakapagtaka na pagkapalusot sa mga Tsino na may escort na NAIA staff, pinigilan ako ni Abdul kahit na ipinakita ko sa kanya ang NAIA security ID ko at kahit na na-clear na ako sa metal detector at X-Ray machine,” he said.

“Hinihinala ko na ginawa ito ni Abdul para hindi ko masita ang NAIA staff na pinalusot ang mga Tsino ng walang security check,” he added.

However, the video did not show any Chinese nationals passing through before Bertiz.

The lawmaker also questioned why the CCTV footage leaked when it was supposed to be under the care of NAIA management.

“Mas nakakabahala rin kaya palang magpuslit at magpakalat ng CCTV video ang NAIA security ng walang basbas o pahintulot ni NAIA GM Ed Monreal,” he said claiming that such leniency on airport CCTV surveillance video controllers might be the reason why incidents of theft in the airport are not being exposed.

“Hinihinala ko na baka kaya hindi nakukunan minsan ng CCTV video ang mga natatanggap kong report ng nakawan at krimen sa NAIA, eh dahil malayang napapakialaman ng NAIA CCTV operators ang mga CCTV camera pati na rin ang video footage,” he claimed.

In a statement, the OTS said “a thorough investigation on the incident is already being conducted” and that “all reports, complaints, and actual video footage are now being consolidated and evaluated.”

It added that: “Authorities are now studying if any law or protocol has been violated, and assures all individuals concerned that any decision shall strictly be in accordance to existing rules, regulations, and procedures being implemented in our airports.” – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Grace Casin)


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DOTr eyes two more airports to decongest NAIA

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, August 24th, 2018

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is prioritizing two airport development projects after assessing what happened in Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) due to the Xiamen runway mishap.

The plan includes building a new airport in Bulacan and developing the Sangley airport in Cavite.

In a statement, DOTr explained that its “airport complementation strategy is aimed at decongesting NAIA, give travelers more options, and spread development across Luzon.”

The proposed projects would accommodate flights from Manila should circumstances such as the runway crash-landing incident requires diversion. That way, DOTr argued, flight delays and cancellations would be avoided.

But these projects remain on paper and no construction has been initiated yet.

For Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) general manager Ed Monreal, flight cancellations could have been prevented if only NAIA had a parallel runway.

The problem, however, is the airport’s limited space, and so having a parallel runway is almost impossible for NAIA.

“Siguro the option now is to develop an airport for the future with a minimum requirement na dalawa po ang runway,” he said.

MIAA has started the transfer of several airlines from NAIA to Clark Airport in Pampanga as a measure to decongest airport. However, the route rationalization scheme is still on its initial phase. — Victor Cosare / Marje Pelayo

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