FILE PHOTO: NAIA Arrival Area (Marlon Briola / Photoville International)
Manila, Philippines – The Manila International Airport Authority or MIAA will try to fix the problem of pilferage inside Manila airports.
Even though handling baggage is the sole responsibility of the airline company, MIAA will still try to help affected passengers
MIAA Public Relations Officer Dave De Castro said, “Upon check-in, it’s the sole and exclusive responsibility of the airlines. If passengers complain of lost items in their baggage we encourage them to file a complaint against the airline.”
Airport officials explained the process of how baggage is transported on and off the airplane.
Before a baggage is taken to the plane, it has to go through four stages from the check-in counter to the baggage build up area. Subcontractor employees of airline companies work here. MIAA said that, unlike in developed countries, baggage handling in the Philippines needs human intervention due to lack of modern facilities.
The subcontracted employees of airline companies personally handle checked-in baggage of passengers to the unit load device or ULD.
CCTV cameras monitor the baggage build up area and other places in the airport but the number of CCTV’s is not enough to cover all corners of the airport.
Some subcontracted employees said that their companies are enforcing measures to prevent them from committing pilferage.
Baggage loader Leomar Libradilla shared, “Wearing of vests is being implemented. We are required to wear pants and safety shoes without pockets to prevent us from stuffing things into it.”
From the ULD, the baggage will be transferred to the plane; this is the process in the departure and even in the arrival area. However, the baggage is on stand by for hours at the departure area and inside the plane.
De Castro said “we’re looking into possibilities in the check-in since the bags would be there for a couple of hours before they are made to be placed inside the aircraft. And then in the arrival area it only takes around 15 to 20 minutes.”
To date, the six baggage loaders involved in pilferage, who are subcontracted employees of airline companies, are still under investigation. (Mon Jocson/UNTV News)