MIAA inspects facilities ahead of Undas rush

Robie de Guzman   •   October 26, 2019   •   417

MANILA, Philippines – Officials from the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) conducted inspections of public transport facilities in anticipation of the influx of passengers during the observance of Undas break.

MIAA general manager Ed Monreal said the number of passengers going through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) is expected to increase beginning Monday, Oct. 28.

In preparation for the anticipated high volume of travelers, MIAA raised the alert for NAIA security personnel.

Additional x-ray machines and explosive trace detectors will also be deployed in the airport as the agency implements heightened security and inspection on passengers and luggage.

Personnel manning check-in counters for domestic flights will also be increased as promised by several airline companies. Additional personnel manning immigration booths in airport will also be deployed to avoid long queuing of passengers for international flights.

Airport authorities also reminded passengers to arrive three hours ahead of international flights, and two hours for domestic flights, to allow enough time for security inspection and other airport procedures.

“Siyempre, meron tayong mga special security requirements gaya ng papunta ng America, gaya ng papunta ng Australia, ‘yung mga airlines have encouraged their passengers to come in slightly earlier pero as a standard, 3 oras po tayo sa international 2 oras tayo sa domestic,” Monreal said.

The MIAA chief also assured they have coordinated with airline companies to prevent flights from being delayed. He cited the improvement in the on-time performance of airline companies based on the recent report of the Air Carriers Association of the Philippines.

“Mas malaki po ang inimprove magmula ng July. They are hitting 85% already ‘yan po ang report ng ating mga kasamahan Cebu Pacific, Air Asia, CebGo tsaka yung PALEX. I hope they would maintain that or even surpass what they have reported to us,” he said.

3 alleged human trafficking victims intercepted at NAIA – BI

Robie de Guzman   •   August 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Three people suspected of being victims of human trafficking and illegal recruitment have been intercepted at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said on Monday.

In a report to Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente, BI port operations division acting chief Grifton Medina said the passengers were stopped last week before they could board their flights to the Middle East and Europe.

Medina said one of the victims was bound for Dubai while the two others were destined for Greece, all of them showing intentions to work illegally as undocumented workers.

According to BI’s Travel Control and Enforcement Unit (TCEU), the Dubai-bound passenger was intercepted last 25 July 2020 after the immigration officer noticed that the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) was not cleared and validated by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration – Labor Assistance Center (POEA-LAC) desk at the NAIA.

Verification with the POEA-LAC later revealed that the said OEC was tampered as it was issued to someone else and not to the said passenger.

The victim then admitted that her trip was processed by her handlers and that her documents were only given to her when she arrived at the airport.

The BI-TCEU also reported that the two Greece-bound passengers who were intercepted last Saturday, August 2, likewise presented fraudulent travel documents, including fake OECs and local employment certificates.

The bureau said that upon interview, they confessed that their documents were only handed to them at the airport. They also said they were recruited to work in Athens by their handlers to whom they each paid P95,000 in return for facilitating their trip and processing their documents.

“Thanks to the vigilance of our primary inspectors for foiling these attempts by human trafficking syndicates to sneak their victims out of the country,” Medina said.

The victims were turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for investigation, according to the bureau.

NAIA Terminal 3 prepares as international flights resume on Wednesday

Maris Federez   •   July 7, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 confirms its readiness for the resumption of international flights on Wednesday (July 8).

The resumption of international flight operations, however, will still be at limited capacity in compliance with the directive of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) on the allowable number of passenger arrivals.

The IATF-MEID directive said the total number of arriving passengers on international flights must not go beyond 2,400 per day.

Half of this number is allotted to repatriated Filipinos, while the rest are for passengers from commercial flights.

Airport authorities said operations at Terminal 1 are once again transferred to Terminal 3 as the volume of passengers in international commercial flights continues to increase due to the easing of travel restrictions of other countries.

As part of the preparations, Manila International Airport (MIAA) General Manager Ed Monreal personally inspected the terminal 3 to check if the additional chairs to be placed near the check in counters at the departure area are complete.

Health and safety protocols, such as wearing of face masks and physical distancing inside the airport are still strictly implemented. —(from the report of Asher Cadapan, Jr.) /mbmf

BOC NAIA conducts stricter agri products inspection amid new swine flu

Maris Federez   •   July 6, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Custom (BOC) announced that its personnel at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) has intercepted a total of 775.6 kilograms of meat and meat products without Sanitary & Phytosanitary clearances from January to June 2020.

In a statement released on Saturday (July 4), the BOC said the meat and meat products that they have confiscated include 268.2 kilograms of pork, 106.4 kilograms of beef, 298.2 kilograms of poultry, and 102 kilograms of other kinds of meat.

The BOC added these products arrived without permits and health clearance, and were brought in through NAIA from African Swine Fever (ASF) infected countries.

“All the items were turned over to the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) for quarantine and immediate disposal to prevent the spread of the virus dangerous to local health and to the food industry,” the press release read.

It added that, with the emergence of a new strain of swine flu virus, the frontliners of the BOC-NAIA who man the passenger area and air cargo warehouses are on high alert against the possible entry of contaminated meat products.

“Customs NAIA has been consistent in protecting our local industry from any possible swine and agricultural epidemic and supports the directive of Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero to continuously monitor and safeguard the country’s borders,” the statement concluded. —/mbmf

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