Philippine airports to be assessed by US transport security

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 12 2022 10:37 AM | Updated as of Aug 12 2022 04:38 PM

Relatives check on their loved ones at the departure area of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) -Terminal 1 in Pasay City on June 20, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
Relatives check on their loved ones at the departure area of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) -Terminal 1 in Pasay City on June 20, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — Philippine airports will undergo a 7-day security assessment by the United States Transport Security Administration (US-TSA).

The US-TSA airport security assessments will observe security procedure as well as airlines with flights to and from the United States.

The US-TSA security assessment team paid a courtesy call to Transport Security Administrator Undersecretary Ma. O Aplasca, Manila International Airport Authority Acting General Manager Cesar Chiong, the Philippine National Police Aviation Security Group and representatives of various airlines with direct or indirect flights to the United States.

The security assessments intend to strengthen collaboration among airport authorities and airlines.

Chiong said Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista ordered airport authorities to ensure safe and secured airports with facilities that meet international standards.

In a separate interview, Baustista said he was hopeful that the Philippines would pass the assessments.

"It's an assessment they started yesterday, tinitingnan nila if there are improvements in the way we implement security measures in the airport. Yesterday I was informed the meeting went very well. The assessment will be until Aug. 19," said Bautista.

"If TSA is satisfied with the security program implementation, there might be some easing up of procedures in the airport. Kasi right now, we are the only airport in Asia where there are so many screening being done, because it is a requirement of the Transport Security Administration of the US. Hopefully, we pass the assessment," he added. 

Aplasca, meanwhile, said he was confident that the country sustained the implementation of security measures with its direct collaboration and continuous exchange of intelligence information with its partners.

For US-TSA Attache Robert Rouland, the assessment will be another learning experience for their team.

In their last security assessment in February 2020, the US-TSA noted a significant improvement in the implementation of security standards in the country's airports.

The security assessment is done every 2 years in accordance with standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Countries that fail the US-TSA security assessments are usually downgraded and flights to and from it are either subject to rigid inspection or reduced.

— Report from Raoul Esperas and Jekki Pascual, ABS-CBN News

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