Screening officers return US$2,100 left behind at NAIA checkpoint

Marje Pelayo   •   January 6, 2020   •   289

MANILA, Philippines – Two security screening personnel at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) proved that no amount of money can match a good conscience.

Office for Transportation Security (OTS) Administrator Usec. Raul Del Rosario lauded airport Security Screening Officers Donn Mark Rivera and Luzviminda Galivo’s display of honesty when they returned a white envelope containing cash, 21 pieces of 100 US dollars or approximately P105,000, to its rightful owner after it was left behind at the terminal’s security screening checkpoint on January 3, 2020.

“Ang ganda pong balita nitong bumungad sa atin (This is such a good news that welcomed us),” Del Rosario said.

“Ang good deeds po ng ating mga personnel will not be left unnoticed. Wala man po itong monetary reward, bibigyan naman po natin ito ng pagkilala and magiging record na nila yan sa kanilang serbisyo. For sure, may good karma na babalik sakanila,” he added.

(Our personnel’s good deeds will not be left unnoticed. This may not have a monetary reward but surely their deeds will be recognized and will be part of their service records. For sure, something good will come to them in return.)

Meanwhile, the official hinted at the upcoming revamp among OTS personnel to stop those who are committing unlawful acts, in line with the agency’s campaign against corruption.

“Para ma-avoid natin yung familiarity sa bawat station, particular dito sa NAIA. Hopefully makatulong ito pati ung aming regular na surveillance sa mga terminal, para mabawasan kung hindi man maubos ‘yung mga hindi gumagawa ng maganda,” he explained.

(To avoid familiarity [among personnel] in each station, particularly here in NAIA. Hopefully, this would help as well as our regular surveillance in terminals to minimize, if not totally curb, unscrupulous personnel.)

Coronavirus scare reduces NAIA passenger traffic —MIAA

Robie de Guzman   •   February 19, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The threat of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has reduced passenger traffic at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) said Wednesday.

MIAA general manager Ed Monreal said that from January 27 to February 17, the country’s main gateway only handled a total of 1,352,692 international passengers compared to 1,624,698 passengers in the same period in 2019.

Domestic passenger traffic at NAIA also went down to 1,406,876 from January 27 to February 17 compared with 1,456,705 in the same period last year.

“It’s a lost opportunity but at the end of the day, there’s still time to recover and hopefully, we’ll be able to recover soon,” Monreal told reporters at a Palace briefing.

The MIAA chief added that the aviation sector is now slowly recovering from its losses after the government fully lifted the travel restrictions on Taiwan, and allowed Filipino overseas workers, students and permanent residents to leave for Hong Kong and Macau.

“So ngayon po, slowly recovering dahil sa mga pagbabago at panukala dahil sa mga pag-uusap ng task force na ipinatutupad ng task force and hopefully our local tourism will recover soon,” he said.

The Philippine government earlier implemented an entry ban for passengers who traveled to China and its special administrative regions, Hong Kong and Macau due to the novel coronavirus outbreak in China.

It later expanded the travel ban to include Taiwan but was eventually lifted on February 14.

On Tuesday, the government announced that Filipino workers, students and permanent residents bound for Hong Kong and Macau are exempted from the outbound travel ban “subject to certain procedural formalities.”

Meanwhile, Monreal expressed hope that the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease will find a solution to the concerns raised by local airline companies on the safety protocols relating to the travel of its crew to Hong Kong and Macau.

Local carriers have earlier expressed concern on the reduced number of personnel if their crewmembers will constantly be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine period after their flights to and from Hong Kong and Macau.  

“Kung ganoon po ang proseso na mayroon pa ho silang quarantine yung mga crew, medyo mahihirapan po sila na magmount ng flights dito kahit po may temporary lifting ng mga pasahero na papunta ng Hong Kong at pabalik po,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Departing passenger stopped at NAIA Terminal 4 for carrying airsoft gun

Marje Pelayo   •   February 18, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Personnel from the Office for Transportation Security (OTS) intercepted an airsoft gun inside a hand-carry bag of a departing passenger at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

The suspected illegal item was detected on the x-ray screen at the final security screening checkpoint on Thursday (February 13) by Security Screening Officer (SSO) Ma. Stella Patanao, the x-ray operator on duty.

A passenger of AirSwift flight number T6 106 bound for El Nido, Palawan identified as Aira Abrina Cabailo claimed the bag which was subjected to a manual inspection.

One piece of airsoft gun and several gun pellets were recovered from Cabailo’s bag, according to OTS.

Under airport policy, airsoft guns are allowed only inside checked in baggage.

The item was seized and turned over to the Philippine National Police Aviation Security Group for appropriate handling.

Meanwhile, Cabailo was allowed to continue with her scheduled flight without undue delay.

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NAIA passenger volume drops by 60% after travel ban

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 13, 2020

The passenger volume at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) has dropped by 60% after implementation of the travel ban due to COVID-19 threat.

On Thursday (February 13), almost 50 round trip flights in areas covered by the travel ban were cancelled.

Due to this, Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Eddie Monreal asked local airline carriers to “prime up” their domestic flights.

“Marami tayong (We have a lot of) reduction in terms of frequency. We are asked to meet the local carriers to prime up the domestic tourism. Iyong extrang eroplano nila gamitin sa tourism (Their extra airplanes should be used for tourism),” he said.

Monreal said the local airlines will look into the said recommendation. He also said that increasing the frequency of domestic flights might help boost Philippine tourism amid the COVID-19 threat.

According to the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), they might implement the additional domestic flights by next week. The CAB is currently waiting for the formal request of local airline carriers.—AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

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