Irked by numerous complaints of stolen items from the baggage of OFWs and problems from Immigration officials, President Duterte issued this statement:
“No more opening of the bags, at ngayon po wala na yung ‘human contact’ sa Immigration. All you have to do is to slide mo yang may ano dyan. You just swipe your passport then you can go out, no more questions sa Immigration.” – Pres. Duterte
However, this does not mean that offenders can perform their illicit activities with impunity.
Methods to Prevent Illegal Activities
X-ray machines were installed at NAIA Terminal 1, 2, and 3 for a non-intrusion examination of the baggage of arriving and leaving passengers. Those containing suspicious contents are opened and physically examined in front of the owner.
All baggage handlers are furnished with body cameras to monitor their activities while inside the airport to prevent theft. Further, clothes should have no pockets and wearing of pieces of jewelry are not allowed during their tour of duty.
Customs officials who are not on duty are not allowed in the Customs area of the NAIA only those who are on official duty are allowed inside the premises. This will deter smugglers and corrupt customs people from trafficking contrabands.
Electronic gates (e-gates) are now operational reducing long queues. The screening process takes a passenger about 15 minutes compared to the manual transaction of 45 minutes.
Arriving passengers are profiled. Those considered high risk will undergo a thorough customs check and will take more time than an OFW with a good record.
What Passengers can do
Modern technology, security measures cannot prevent a determined robber.
GM Monreal advise to passengers, “Kung meron po silang nawawalang gamit and they feel that their bags are tampered, mayroon sa tingin nila nawawala, timbangin kaagad i-report sa airline (company). Nandyan po ang mga kawani ng airline sa arrival, i-document. Kasi unang una po hindi kawani ng MIAA ang humahawak sa mga bagahe; airline representative po iyan.”
Fill out the airline complaint form for lost items give a copy to GM Monreal. Find time to follow-up the progress of your grievance.
Never listen to strangers they will try to win your trust. Prohibited goods may find their way into your baggage or some of your valuables might be stolen.
Valuable items like pieces of jewelry, bank notes, important documents, cell phones, cameras, fragile items, and laptops should be placed in hand baggage under your care and custody.
Be vigilant against robbers and pickpockets. Report any untoward incident to the airport security personnel their duty is to protect the safety of passengers within the airport.