MIAA inspects facilities ahead of Undas rush

Robie de Guzman   •   October 26, 2019   •   461

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.

BOC destroys hazardous, unsafe goods worth P10-M

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 23, 2020

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has destroyed P10 million worth of hazardous, unsafe products that were illegally imported.

The BOC-Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) reported another 24.6 tons of vape products, cosmetics, expired medicines/supplements, and other hazardous and unsafe goods were destroyed through the thermal decomposer (Pyrolysis) facility of the Integrated Waste Management Inc., in Cavite on October 17 and 19.

The said goods were imported without necessary Food and Drug Administration (FDA) registration and permits.

Port of NAIA District Collector Carmelita M. Talusan, in a statement, said the proceedings aim to address perennial congestion problems of customs facilities on abandoned and illegally shipped items. AAC

MIAA limits NAIA arrivals anew after PRC stops COVID-19 swab testing

Marje Pelayo   •   October 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) has once again cut down the number of arrivals at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) as a consequence of the Philippine Red Cross’ decision to stop its swab testing service to returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Thousands of repatriated OFWs remain in quarantine facilities in Metro Manila, desperately waiting for the results of their swab tests.

One of them is Harlene Gariando who used to work as a household worker in Singapore but after a conflict with her employer, she decided to return home on October 18.

It has been four days since she arrived but until today, she is not certain as to when she will be able to get her swab test result.

Madali na po sana ang resulta para kami pong mga naghihintay dito ay makauwi na rin sa aming mga mahal sa buhay [We hope the result would come out soon so we could go home to our families],” she said.

Sana malaman po kaagad ng maaga kasi para hindi rin po nagaalala yung mga mahal namin sa buhay rin po [The results should be made available soon so our families will not worry],” she added.

MIAA General Manager Eddie Monreal said they have to minimize the number of arrivals once again to make sure that the government’s One-Stop-Shop will be able to accommodate all returning OFWs.

“Ang challenge po ay nasa One Stop Shop being manned by Coast Guard and pagdating nung mga kababayan natin limitado po ang kapasidad ngayon sa pagte-test [The challenge now is with the One-Stop-Shop being manned by the Coast Guard because the swab testing at present is limited as compared to the arriving OFWs],” Monreal said.

“As far as the airport is concern, kami po sa paliparan wala po kaming nakikitang problema except for those reduction po na maapektuhan ang pagparating ng ating mga kababayan [As far as the airport is concerned, we don’t have any problem except for the arriving OFWs who will be affected by the reduction of flights],” he added.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), meanwhile, is trying to replicate the process of the PRC when it comes to swab testing, one is to allow online registration prior to the OFWs return flight.

Kasi iyong E-CIF di ba bago pa pumunta dito sa Pilipinas, three days before nirerequire na natin noon in coordination with the Red Cross na magpirma na nung CIF [The process with E-CIF, three days before they arrive in the Philippines they are required to sign a CIF with Red Cross],” explained Commodore Armand Balilo, PCG’s Spokesperson.

Para pagdating dito dere-derecho ang pila. Pupunta lang sa counter ng Coast Guard tapos isa-swab [So when they arrive, they just fall in line. They just go straight to the Coast Guard’s counter and there they will be swabbed],” he added.

At present, the PCG has partnered with 12 government hospitals to where the specimens of OFW are forwarded.

The agency also employed more IT personnel to speed up the encoding of data. 

PCG explained that OFWs may request to speed up the processing of their swab tests. They may either pay P3,5000 to the PRC or they may prefer to have their swab test taken in private hospitals but they have to pay as much as P10,000 for it.

The PCG is hoping that the PRC will resume its service the soonest especially with the expected surge of returning OFWs by the end of the year. MNP (with reports from Joan Nano)

‘Ecstasy’ pills worth P750K seized in Pasay City

Robie de Guzman   •   October 16, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Another parcel containing ecstasy tablets was intercepted by authorities, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said Friday.

The BOC said its operatives at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), together with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agencyand NAIA Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group seized the package containing over 196 pieces of ecstasy tablets and 151 grams of Methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) power or raw ecstasy at the Central Mail Exchange Center.

The BOC said the parcel, which was sent by a certain Jansen J.J.K from Amersfoot, Netherlands, was declared as key chain intended for Cebu City.

When subjected to 100% physical examination, the package was found to contain ecstasy drugs in pills and powder/crystal forms with aggregate street value of P750,000.

PDEA Chemical Laboratory results confirmed that tablets and the crystallized substance contains MDMA or ecstasy/molly.

The illegal drugs are now in the custody of PDEA for further investigation and institution of inquest proceedings for violation of the Republic Act 9165 also known as Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act in relation to Section 1401 (Unlawful Importation) of the Republic Act 10863, otherwise known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).

Since January 2020, the BOC said the Port of NAIA in partnership with PDEA and NAIA-IADITG already intercepted 41 different shipments of illegal drugs with a total value of P83.6 Million of the anti-illegal drugs. Thirteen shipments of which contained Ecstasy worth P40.4 Million.

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