Transit passengers not spared security check

February 05, 2019

TRANSIT passengers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) are now subject for rigid scrutiny by the Bureau of Immigration (BI).

BI Port Operations Division chief Grifton Medina yesterday said because most of the transit passengers’ final destinations were Europe or the United States, the BI makes sure these people are all cleared before flying out from Manila.

Medina said the BI is taking extra care because it does no want to be blamed if a terrorist slipped out of the Philippines and wreaks havoc in his final destination.

Before, the BI would only check the passengers’ boarding pass but under the tighter system, all transit passengers should undergo security screening.

Recently, the BI heightened security at the NAIA as they conducted continuous training and inter-agency coordination with other countries or the Interpol.

If a person has a record in another country, of if he or she is a suspected terrorist, his or her name would automatically register a hit in the BI system. Medina said the person could be prevented from entering the country.

He added that using state of the art system, the BI protects the people by stemming the use of stolen passports and counterfeit documents.

In December last year, the US Department of Homeland Security [DHS] warned that the security at the Philippines main international gateway, the NAIA, does not meet international standards.