Palace: The government said it was fully committed to intensifying security measures at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) after the United States issued a travel advisory warning Americans about inadequate security at the country’s premier gateway.
Malacañang gave this assurance after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said that Naia “does not maintain and carry out effective security consistent with the security standards established by the International Civil Aviation Organization.”
We are looking into the US DHS’ travel advisory, including [its] recommendations on how the government may tighten its current security measures, particularly as regards the safety of our airports,” Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
“Indeed, we remain fully committed in our continuing efforts to enhance and secure our airports and eventually protect and ensure the safety of travelers,” Panelo added.Responding to the criticism, Malacañang said that taking into consideration the inputs of global partners was a way to ensure the safety of inbound and outbound travelers amid the threat of terrorism.
“We assure everyone that the Philippine government, through the Department of Transportation, Manila International Airport Authority and the Office for Transportation Security, is prioritizing the implementation of strict security measures at the Naia,” Panelo said.He noted that the DHS had recommended the purchase of more X-ray machines, walk-through metal detectors and alarm systems to improve aviation security at Naia.
“We are aware, however, that all these take time and, as airport authorities explained, they expect such equipment to be installed and utilized only in the second quarter of 2019,” Panelo said.
His statements were backed by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana who said that airport authorities were “on track to addressing these concerns so that they don’t get blacklisted.”