Poe hits lack of CCTVs in Philippine airports
MANILA, Philippines — Looking for a place to have a private moment with your lover? The country’s airports may just be the ideal place for you.
Senator Grace Poe said this in jest as she lamented on Tuesday the lack of security cameras in the country’s airport resulting to “too many blind spots.”
“I think if you’re looking for a place to go, you can go to the airport. Doon ka na lang mag-date. Mukhang ‘di ka makikita,” the senator said.
During her interpellation on the budget of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and its attached agencies, Poe asked about the number of closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras in airports in the country.
“Are we complete now with our CCTV cameras in Naia (Ninoy International Airport) and in our major airports? Hindi ba may napatay na mayor na matagal na?” she asked.
The senator was referring to the incident where the mayor of Labangan town in Zamboanga del Sur, his wife and two others were killed in an ambush at the arrival area of the NAIA Terminal 3 in December 2013.
Senator JV Ejercito, who defended the budget of the DOTr, said that Manila International Airport Authority (Miaa) General Manager Ed Monreal reported that the bidding for the CCTV project was “already completed” and that the “post-qualification” process was ongoing.
Ejercito explained that there has been failures of bidding for the past eight years and a losing bidder sought a temporary restraining order from a local court, which prevents the Miaa from procuring CCTVs.
But he said airport officials are hoping that the process would be completed by early next year.
Senator Poe and Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri were dismayed with the explanation of the Miaa management.
“Bakit ang tagal, tatlong taon na [ang nakalipas]? Bakit ngayon lang magkakaroon?” Poe asked again as she stressed the importance of CCTV cameras to ensure “extra protection” for passengers, including overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
With security cameras, she said, baggage theft would be deterred, especially if the cameras are “strategically placed on baggage routes from the plane to the carousel.”
“Pati yung sa X-ray machines sa entrance ng airport dapat may CCTVs rin, para kung may OFW na binuksan ang bagahe, captured on cam,” she noted.
Poe said NAIA’s 24-hour camera monitoring should likewise cover taxi bays “so that if an OFW would complain that he’s being charged a high rate, there is proof of wrongdoing.” /je
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