MANILA, Philippines?No more redundant security procedures at the airports.
The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), which operates the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), has started to simplify the security process inside the airport terminals following mounting complaints from passengers.
According to NAIA Terminal 1 manager Dante Basanta, ?too much human intervention? in security procedures inside airport terminals has been eliminated, starting Monday.
In the past, passengers would be asked by Philippine Aviation Security Service Corp. (Passcor) security guards to present their travel documents at the airport entrance, only to have them re-inspected by members of the Office of Transportation Security (OTS) at the initial security check a short distance away.
Security checks were done at three other points after the airport entrance: at check-in counters by airline personnel, then at the immigration counter and finally by OTS personnel at the final check-in counters.
But now, security guards are no longer allowed to check the travel documents of passengers entering the terminal.
?Even security officers assigned before one pays the terminal fee have also been removed from their post,? Basanta said, explaining that the previous measure not only caused bottlenecks but inconvenience to many passengers.
?Besides, PASSCOR personnel?s main task will be to keep the lines at airport entrances in order. They're not trained and they're not authorized to inspect travel documents of passengers. Passenger identity verification is basically the job of the Bureau of Immigration and OTS personnel,? he explained.
But Basanta was quick to add that streamlining the security process did not mean that airport authorities were letting their guards down.
?Security remains tight; we would like to assure the public with an improved passenger convenience but it doesn't mean we're sacrificing security,? he said. ?And besides, we still have roving guards who would conduct random checks and profiling of passengers. They can challenge passengers who, they think, are acting suspiciously.?
Meanwhile, some passengers, particularly frequent travelers, welcomed changes in airport security procedure.
?Finally, they did something to address that problem. Hindi naman kasi ganon ka-overacting ang security check sa ibang international airports. Tingnan mo ngayon hindi ganon kahaba ang pila pagpasok (Security checks in other international airports are not as over-acting. Now, look at the shortened cues at entry points,? a businessman said.
He recalled that security guards stationed at the terminal entrance usually went as far as checking the travel visas in their passports even though they did not have the authority and training to do so.