DOTr urged to check, upgrade security facilities in airports

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Davao City—Two members of the House of Representatives filed a resolution urging the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to check the status of airports and their security facilities to reduce inconvenience and avoid congestion.

Rep. Paolo Duterte (Davao City First Congressional District) and Rep. Eric Yap (Lone District, Benguet) urged the DOTr to check on the country’s airports “to lessen congestion in passenger terminals and heighten measures on ensuring public safety.”

In a resolution, the two lawmakers said the DOTr should incorporate in its proposed budget for 2024 the expenditures needed to improve these facilities “given the ever-increasing number of travelers going in and out of the country.”

Duterte and Yap noted that the easing  of health and safety protocols has led to a significant rise in airline passenger growth especially during the holiday seasons, “which, in turn, has led to a disparity between demand and the number of available security equipment and facilities in the country’s airports.”

“The consistent congestion in these airports necessitates an increase and advancement in airport security facilities and equipment, particularly full body scanners and baggage scanners, to serve a larger number of people as well as ensure public safety in the exercise of every citizen’s right to travel,” they said in House Resolution No. 921.

Yap and Duterte said that part of the duties and functions of the House of Representatives “is to revisit and scrutinize existing laws, regulations, and circumstances that affect the country’s passengers as well as public order and safety.”

‘Now, therefore be it resolved, as it is hereby resolved, that the House of Representatives of the Philippines urges the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to look into the current status of airport security facilities and equipment of the country’s airport terminals, particularly their full-body scanners and baggage scanners, and to include in its budget proposal for the 2024 National Expenditure Program (NEP) the provision of the said airport security equipment that shall be allocated in all airport terminals in the country,” their resolution read.

The office of Duterte said airlines have been encouraging passengers to check in online or go to the airport as early as 5 to 6 hours before their flights to avoid delays and long queues, especially during peak seasons, owing to the usual congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and other airports in the country.

It said the NAIA has recorded a total of 10,855,332 passengers in the first three months of the year, a 158-percent increase over the 4,200,575 passengers that traveled through the country’s primary gateway during the same period in 2022. The data was provided by officials of the  Manila International Airport Authority, it added.