Lawmaker questions poor security at Naia power facilities prior to power outage
MANILA, Philippines — A House of Representatives panel probe into the Labor Day power outage at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) Terminal 3 revealed that vital power facilities did not have permanent security cover before the incident.
Manila International Airport Authority (Miaa) Assistant General Manager for Security and Emergency Services Manny Gonzales said they have since permanently stationed personnel at vital facilities since the May 1 power outage.
Gonzales said they are “providing a fixed, 24-hour security personnel manning all these power sources generators and vital facilities.”
However, ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro asked the Miaa official why this was only done after the power outage that inconvenienced thousands of passengers and resulted in the cancellation of numerous domestic and international flights.
“There are guards, ma’am, on that perimeter, but not permanently stationed on the facilities,” Gonzales said during a House committee on transportation hearing.
Gonzales explained security officers are stationed in areas where they can see and monitor the power facilities.
“After that incident, we already have fixed guards on that particular place,” said Gonzales, adding that additional surveillance cameras have also been installed.
However, Castro noted that this was only done after the incident.
“Parang reactive tayo dito. Di ba ang securtity, dapat proactive? Hindi yung ganitong may nangyayari, nag-re-react lang tayo,” she said.
(It is like we are reactive. Shouldn’t security be proactive? Not just when something like this happens, only then do we react.)
The lack of personnel also plagued Naia’s maintenance as a whole.
Citing an inter-agency committee report, Department of Transportation Undersecretary Roberto Lim pointed out Miaa’s lack of personnel possibly contributed to the power outage.
“The MIAA has limited competencies to conduct maintenance of high voltage equipment. We have personnel in Miaa however, as we had manifested, there are only two electrical engineers, and the others have limited competencies to actually do the maintenance, processes and procedures,” he said.
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