NAIA reopens for recovery flights; normal ops to resume 11 p.m. Dec. 3 – MIAA

Robie de Guzman   •   December 3, 2019   •   1010

(FILE) Travelers and airport porters are seen in front of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal One in Paranaque City, Philippines.  EPA-EFE FRANCIS MALASIG

MANILA, Philippines – The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) announced that the runways of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) were reopened at 6 p.m. on Tuesday following its temporary closure due to the effects of typhoon Tisoy (international name: Kammuri).

MIAA General Manager Ed Monreal said they decided to reopen the airport ahead of schedule after consulting with the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) in view of the improving weather condition.

With NAIA runways’ reopening, Monreal said domestic carriers were allowed to bring back to Manila all their aircraft that were preemptively evacuated to other local airports due to the typhoon.

From 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., the MIAA official said they are expecting to receive 53 aircraft returning from local airports.

Of this number, eight are from the Philippine Airlines/PAL Express, 30 from Cebu Pacific and 15 from Air Asia.

“We have 84 slots available so that these aircraft can be accommodated. The reason we allowed this scenario is to ensure that the majority of the flights will be operated by tomorrow,” Monreal said.

The MIAA chief added that at 11 p.m., regular flight operations will resume at NAIA.

However, the daily maintenance closure of NAIA’s runway from 1:30 AM to 3:30 AM remains suspended to accommodate flights affected by the 11 AM to 11 PM closure, provided they have approved recovery slots from the MIAA.

Monreal has reminded airline operators to be ready for recovery operations and to advise their handling agents to maximize the deployment of people to service all requirements.

He also reiterated his appeal to airline passengers not to go to the airport unless they have confirmed bookings.

He also advised passengers to contact their flight carriers for proper guidance about rebooking procedures.

NAIA, the country’s main gateway, was shut down earlier in anticipation of the effects of the typhoon.

Metro Manila is still under Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 2 as ‘Tisoy’ continues to move west at 25 kilometers per hour (kph).

‘Tisoy’ was last spotted at 145 kilometers north of Coron, Palawan, packing maximum sustained winds of 130 kph and gustiness of up to 160 kph.

According to PAGASA’s 8 p.m. severe weather bulletin, the typhoon has maintained strength as it moves over Mindoro strait.

It is expected to exit the Philippine area of responsibility on Thursday afternoon.

PH Customs seizes Kush worth P852k at NAIA

Robie de Guzman   •   September 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC)-Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) said it has confiscated another parcel containing 533 grams of Kush or high-grade marijuana with an estimated value of P852,000 at the Central Mail Exchange Center in Pasay City.

The BOC said the package was discovered to be misdeclared as five pieces of clothes and was shipped from California, USA. It was addressed to a certain “Aura Talob” of Davao City.

Instead of clothes, it was found to contain high-grade marijuana.

A field test conducted by the Customs Anti-Illegal Drug Trask Force and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency confirmed it as Kush marijuana.

The BOC said the item was turned over to PDEA on Wednesday for further investigation.

Individuals involved in the illegal importation will also be charged for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 in relation to the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, it added.

The BOC previously seized Kush in NAIA last January 20, 2020 (112 grams), June 22, 2020 (1,954 grams), and July 15, 2020 (1,044 grams) all coming from the United States and were declared as “chocolates”, “green tea” and “street wear”, respectively.

P15M worth of misdeclared high-end goods seized at NAIA

Robie de Guzman   •   August 5, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A shipment of high-end branded goods that were misdeclared as personal effects was recently apprehended at the Port of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said.

In a statement, the BOC said the shipment, which consisted of bags, shoes, wallets and other luxury goods was valued at P15 million.

The items included high-end brands like Chanel, Hermes, Christian Louboutin, Valentino, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Balenciaga bags, shoes, wallets, and earrings.

The bureau said that the shipment was fraudulently declared as personal effects, consisting of shampoo, soap, towels, toiletries, canned goods, milk and chocolates, packed in 17 cartons. It was shipped from Milano, Italy through RRG Freight Service Forwarder in Paicargo Warehouse.

A physical examination of the subject shipment confirmed that it actually consists of high-end goods in commercial quantities.

The BOC said the misdeclaration is an apparent attempt to evade payment of correct duties and taxes by circumventing duty and tax free privileges afforded to balikbayan boxes.

According to Port of NAIA district collector Carmelita Talusan, the shipment will be subjected to seizure and forfeiture proceedings for violation of Section 1400 in relation to Section 1113 of the CMTA.

The records and details of the apprehension shall be referred to the Bureau Action Team Against Smugglers (BATAS) for case profiling and build up against the personalities involved in the foiled smuggling.

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.

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