PASAY – The Philippines, through the Office for Transportation Security (OTS) and airport authorities in Manila, and in coordination with Transport Canada, started a five-day joint aviation security assessment on 14 to 18 November 2022.
The event aims to observe the implementation of aviation security measures for all flights bound for Canada coming from Manila. The activity specifically aims to observe air carriers’ security procedures on passenger and baggage screening, cargo and mail security, and access control measures, among others.
For this assessment, Transport Canada will be observing security measures implemented by Philippine Airlines for its flight to Toronto, Canada, specifically Canadian Aviation Security Regulations.
In his welcome remarks, Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Cesar Chiong noted that safety and security of the airports, as the country’s primary gateways, are paramount.
“The airport is a very important gateway to the country, and as such, we have to make sure that is safe and secured,” Chiong said.
He further added that, “As I told the team, in any assessment, we do not expect it to be perfect. The idea really, is to understand where the weak points are, and see where we can improve.”
For his part, OTS Transport Security Oversight and Compliance Service Officer-in-Charge Rodelio Jocson, who represented the OTS during the entry brief, highlighted that security is a shared responsibility that each of the key players has to perform.
“We note that security is a shared responsibility, and it is our goal to ensure the safety and security of our passengers in the airport. I hope that this activity will guide and improve our security measures following international standards,” Jocson said.
In separate meetings, OTS Administrator Undersecretary Ma.O R. Aplasca meanwhile highlighted the guidance by Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime Bautista to ensure that security measures must be leveled with international standards and recommended practices.
“Evolving terror threats remind us to re-evaluate our security measures, and look for ways on to improve the system. In order to do this, we have to work together and collaborate with our foreign counterparts to assess threats and vulnerabilities which we may not see, but our foreign counterparts do. Sharing of best practices is therefore material in improving overall aviation security,” Usec. Aplasca said.
Transport Canada’s Inspection team led by Transport Security Inspector Abdel Tahir, presented the five-day security assessment plan. He was joined by his colleague Transport Security Inspector Barbara Durette.
For the Philippines, OTS National Aviation Security Auditors Gervy Sazon and Melanie Base joined the Canadian inspectors in the security assessment.
Also in attendance during the entry brief was Enrico Francisco Gonzalez, MIAA OIC Office of the Assistant General Manager for Security and Emergency Services; OTS Chief of the International Affairs Division Joey Carillo; Civil Aviation Security Division – Airport Section Head Judith Rendon; and Philippine Airlines (PAL) Vice President for Security Lt. Gen Cesar Ronnie Ordoyo.