Airport police Major Melchor Delos Santos surrounded by thousands of unclaimed lost items recovered from Manila's airports. Photo by Raoul Esperas
MANILA -- Despite reports of airport porters turning over left-behind items and getting praise for their deeds, thousands of lost items at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) remain unclaimed.
The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) disclosed that more than 11,000 items were turned over to the airport authority after being left unattended by passengers from terminals 1, 2, 3 and 4.
From this number, only 4,052 items were claimed by their rightful owners.
Meanwhile, a total of 2,146 items were declared lost in the airport, with only 66 recovered and 2,080 items yet to be found.
In an interview, Major Melchor Delos Santos, head of the Intelligence and Investigation Division's lost and found section, said the unclaimed items are kept in their storage room for sorting to determine the rightful owners.
Delos Santos explained that by law, the airport authority can store the unclaimed items for the period of six months from the time they were reported to their office.
Once all efforts have already been made to determine and notify the rightful owners, the unclaimed items will then be forfeited in favor of the government.
According to Delos Santos, clothing items will be segregated for donation while cash will be turned over to the airport cashier to be added as income for the government. Electronic items, jewelry and other valuable items, meanwhile, will be sold via public auction.
As of this writing, there are still some 2,378 unclaimed lost items at the airport from August 2013.
Any individual who lost an item at any of the terminals can proceed to the lost and found section of the Intelligence and Investigation Division of the airport police located at NAIA terminal 1 to reclaim their items.
Delos Santos said the rightful owner must present any valid identification card and proof that the items being claimed belong to them.
The public can also call the airport trunk line number 8771-109 local 2863 or 3654 to verify if their items are included in the list of recovered items.