US transport officials assess PH airlines security

Published August 12, 2022, 10:57 AM

by Ariel Fernandez

The United States Transport Security Administration (TSA) paid Philippine airport authorities a courtesy call Thursday, August 11, as it began a seven-day joint security assessment of airlines with flights to Washington and Manila airports.

(Photo courtesy of Manila International Airport Authority)

The US TSA noted the strengthened collaboration among airport authorities including the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), Office of Transport Security (OTS), and the Philippine National Police Aviation Security Group (PNP AVSEGROUP).

MIAA General Manager Cesar Chiong said that Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime Bautista ordered airport authorities to ensure a safe and secured airport that meets international standards.

OTS Administrator Undersecretary Ma. O Aplasca expressed confidence that the country has continuously sustained the implementation of security measures with the continued collaboration between the two countries.

“After having series of fruitful mentoring and comprehensive discussions [with the TSA], I think we are all ready with the assessment,” Aplasca said.

For US TSA Attache Robert Rouland, the assessment will be another learning experience for his part as he did years ago as part of the TSA assessment team.

“The assessment is a learning experience for me too. This is my first assessment with my collegues here since I accepted this position, and actually the last time I did an assessment was in 2005,” Rouland said.

In the last security assessment in February 2020, the US TSA noted significant improvements in the implementation of security standards in the Philippines’ primary gateways.

For the past years, the Philippines and US have worked together to ensure that each state’s obligations under the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 17 are complied with and that baseline measures are adopted and strictly implemented.