US says 'collaborating closely' with Philippines on NAIA security

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 27 2018 11:03 AM

A security guard assists passengers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Dec. 26, 2018. The US Transportation Security Administration recently raised concerns over facilities at the terminal. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA -- The US Embassy in Manila said Thursday it was "collaborating closely" with the Philippines to improve aviation security after American authorities raised concerns over facilities at the capital's main airport.

The US Transportation Security Administration recommended the installation of new x-ray machines, walk-through metal detectors, and alarm systems at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport following its review, the Philippine Department of Transportation earlier said.

"We are collaborating closely with the Philippines Department of Transportation and related agencies, and have every confidence in their leadership and their commitment to improve aviation security," US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim said in a statement.

"Philippine authorities have worked diligently to improve security measures and we fully expect that they will soon meet ICAO security standards," Kim said.

The ICAO or the International Civil Aviation Organization is the United Nations' air transportation body.

According to the US Embassy, the US State Department has approved the release of $5 million for security improvements at NAIA.

The DOTr said Wednesday it was giving "utmost priority and attention to the implementation of strict security measures" at NAIA. Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade also ordered the hiring of additional guards for round-the-clock duty.