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    133 undesirable aliens barred last year from PH

    January 15th, 2019

    By Benjamin Lim Vergara

    Philippine Bureau of Immigration Image © philippineslifestyle.com

    A TOTAL of 133 foreign nationals were barred from entering the Philippines last year for being rude and disrespectful to immigration officers, the Bureau of Immigration recently announced.

    BI Port Operations Division (POD) chief Grifton Medina said the figure was slightly higher than the 129 foreigners that were excluded in 2017.

    Medina reminded foreigners visiting the country to respect the immigration officers whom they encounter in the ports of entry.

    “The entry and stay of foreigners in the country is only a privilege, not a right,” Medina said, adding, “aliens are not allowed to verbally abuse or disrespect our immigration officers.”

    Statistics show that 37 Chinese nationals topped the list, followed by 25 Americans, and 23 Koreans.

    “They were also placed in our immigration blacklist of undesirable aliens, thus they are banned from re-entering the country,” Medina added.

    According to BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval, the BI has been strictly implementing a policy to disallow the entry of foreigners who exhibit arrogance or make offensive utterance against immigration officers, the latter being symbols of Philippine authority.

    Sandoval said such policy is grounded under a memorandum order that then BI chief Andrea Domingo issued on March 29, 2001 which provides not only for the exclusion but also inclusion in the immigration blacklist.

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    NAIA passenger volume increased by 7 percent in 2018

    January 12th, 2019

    By Benjamin Lim Vergara

    (File photo) Arriving OFWs at the NAIA Photo © https://globalnation.inquirer.net

    AIR passenger traffic at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport has significantly increased in 2018, the Manila International Airport Authority on Friday said.

    In its annual report of travel statistics (domestic and international), the MIAA showed a high volume of air travelers arriving and departing at the country’s main gateway.

    Foreign and local airlines carried 45,082,544 passengers in 2018, a seven percent increase from 42,022,484 passengers that have arrived in Manila’s premier airport in 2017.

    Arriving and departing international travelers went up by 22,958,026 in 2018, compared to 20,957,571 in 2017.

    The number of travelers in domestic destination last year has also reached new heights.

    A record of arriving and departing passengers in 2018 rose to 22,124,518, outpacing the 21,064,913-passenger volume growth in 2017.

    According to data of Department of Tourism, foreign arrivals on October 2018 increased by 8.5 percent to 4.85 million in the first eight months despite a decline in a number of top source market.

    Supplementing the passenger influx in NAIA were returning Filipinos (balikbayans) and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who were traveling to several local destinations in the Philippines.

    The airport authority is also expecting more passenger traffic this year as new international routes were mounted by local airlines.

    Also on Friday, MIAA General Manager Ed Monreal made an ocular inspection at the NAIA terminals to make sure the smooth flow of passengers inside the terminals.

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    US marines stopped at NAIA?

    January 6th, 2019

    By Benjamin Lim Vergara

    SEVERAL United States marines were stopped and questioned on Friday by unfazed security personnel at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport for bringing in 60 live ammunition and 17 magazines inside the airport’s Terminal 3.

    The US marines, who were part of the just concluded Balikatan exercises held in Zamboanga, were leaving for Japan via Delta Airlines Flight 180.

    The US servicemen were stopped by Office for Transportation Services personnel after images of bullets and magazines showed at the x-ray machine monitor. The ammo and magazines, OTS officials said, were found allegedly in the bag of Daniel Barlow.

    Airport source said that lack of coordination between concern agency of the government and the liaison personnel on the part of the US marines was the cause.

    The marines were later allowed to board their flight after papers and documents for the bullets and magazines were presented by the US liaison personnel.

    Recently, the US Transportation Security Administration recently made a security audit at the NAIA and have 16 recommendations that the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) should address.

    The TSA has urged the Philippines to carry out effective security consistent with the security standards established by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

    (Read More: http://beyonddeadlines.com/2018/12/25/miaa-strongly-committed-in-enhancing-security/)

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    The year of suffering the BI queue

    January 3rd, 2019

    By Benjamin Lim Vergara

    Philippine Bureau of Immigration Image © philippineslifestyle.com

    THE long queues at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in 2018 has become the major source of complaints of passengers, a lot of them feel aggravated or get annoyed as they worry of missing their flights.

    The passengers on morning flight schedules were complaining of the long and slow queue movement at the Bureau of Immigration (BI) counters. An hour long queue time has become the norm for an arriving or departing passenger before they could reach the immigration booth.

    Despite regular reminders urging the public to arrive at the airport three hours before their flights, these unfortunate souls still don’t know what the perfect time is to be at the country’s main gateway, since the hassle is no longer with the irritating and sometimes unnecessary security checks but with the immigration zone, where the near stagnant long lines made foreign and local passengers uneasy and prone to violence.

    The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), NAIA’s operator, could not help the folks suffering the queues at the immigration zones. Nevertheless, MIAA general manager Ed Monreal has deployed the Public Affairs personnel in case some of the passengers need assistance.

    This dilemma came after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the transfer of the PhP1.2 billion Express Lane fee to the treasury, which was the source of the BI’s overtime pay. The NAIA immigration officers protested Duterte’s decision to disallow the use of the Express Lane fees for their allowances only to be told that they should just request the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for the payment of their overtime work.

    DBM Secretary Benjamin Diokno assured the BI that PhP224.835,000 million has been appropriated in the budget specifically for overtime pay of its employees. Diokno said since there is a specific funding for the overtime pay of BI employees in the budget, there is no need to tap into the express lane funds.

    Express Lane charges are additional costs being paid by a foreigner, who overstayed for a week or at least a month in the country, as well as to fast-track processing of his documents.

    It was used as a source of funding to pay for the services of the bureau’s confidential agents, contractual employees, other job orders, and for overtime pay. Lower salary grade employees were the most affected by the presidential veto on the use of the express lane charges, particularly those receiving less than the minimum wage.

    Marc Red Mariñas, then BI Port Operations Division chief, said with the suspension of overtime pay, several regular staff went on official leave of absence from six months to one year. The other personnel who opted to remain have always been absent or going under time, while others have resigned further depleting the BI’s manpower. Some of the regular employees who quit are lawyers fed up with the overtime issues.

    Former Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd of the Department of Justice in a letter to the president pointed out that the elimination of express lane fees has serious implications in the delivery of the BI’s mandate.

    “The deposit of express lane charges to the general fund will automatically result in the displacement of about 1,000 or 73 percent of the bureau’s workforce by next week. The only source of income of these BI personnel is the express lane fees. Without the express lane fees, they will automatically lose their jobs and will join the unemployed population of the country,” he said.

    Aguirre, with immigration commissioners, and heads of the BI labor groups – Buklod and Immigration Officers Association of the Philippines – lobbied for the restoration of the funds.

    Before the introduction of the electronic gates (e-gates) on July 2018, the long queues have become longer during peak hours from 10a.m. to noon, and from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Passengers of Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific Air taking international flights were advised to check-in early at the NAIA Terminal 2 and Terminal 3, respectively, before their flight’s estimated time of departure due to insufficient staffing at the immigration counters.

    Cebu Pacific Air spokesperson Charo Logarta-Lagamon has reacted about how passengers irritably commented to the NAIA congestion.

    “Queue in immigration is beyond our control. We try to assist as much as we can though,” Logarta-Lagamon says.

    On December 2017, Duterte allowed the Immigration to put the Express Lane Fees (ELF) into a “trust fund” for the payment of salaries and overtime of its employees.

    According to Duterte, the trust fund, which will be subject to guidelines of the Commission on Audit and secretaries of Justice and Budget, will exist until Congress has enacted a new Immigration Modernization Law that will upgrade BI’s compensation system.

    With the operation of e-gates at the NAIA in October this year, queue at the airport has been minimized. E-gates were introduced more than two months ago and have passed international standards for border control of arriving Filipinos.

    Immigration Commissioner Jamie Morente recently said that the e-gates has shorten the processing time of Filipino travelers holding machine readable passports to only eight to 15 seconds per passengers from the previous 45 seconds.

    With e-gates, it quickly reduces the volume of passengers during peak hours at the immigration.

    Introduced by the International Air Transport Association called Fast Travel program, it simplify and efficiently improve the clearing processes. It also used in pinpointing citizens under watch list and or persons of interest in immigration formalities.

    There are 13 e-gate machines that were put up in NAIA – five at NAIA 1, three units at NAIA 2, and five at NAIA 3. Mactan-Cebu will have five units, five at Clark ad three at Davao International Airport, and soon all airports in the country will be provided with e-gate machines.

    This project was funded by the national government at PhP328,869,000.

    “The intent is to speed up immigration process in terms of swiping of passports bio metrics and facial capturing. As our passengers get used to the process, the targeted 12 to 15 seconds timeline will be the norm. This innovation at the country’s main gateway is part of modern aviation culture. A step in the right direction,” says Philippine Airlines spokesperson Cielo Villaluna.

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    Special BI counters created to expeditiously process departing OFWs

    January 2nd, 2019

    By Benjamin Lim Vergara

    Long lines at the NAIA’s immigration booths Photo by https://www.bitedge.co

    SPECIAL immigration counters were created at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and other ports to expeditiously process departing overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

    Bureau of Immigration (BI) Port Operations Division chief Grifton Medina said the new system will ease OFWs’ travel out of the country as instructions were already given to immigration personnel to ensure that OFWs lining up for immigration processing are given utmost priority.

    “Our objective is to see to it that our modern-day heroes are given all the care and courtesy that they deserve in sacrificing not only for their families but for the country as well,” Medina said.

    Medina added that BI Commissioner Jaime Morente approved his recommendation to create a special team of immigration officers who will be focused on conducting pre-screening of OFWs and attend to the latter’s immigration needs at the airport.

    In his memorandum, Medina ordered that designated OFW counters shall only be used exclusively by OFWs.

    In case of long lines in OFW counters, members of the bureau’s Travel Control and Enforcement Unit (TCEU) shall speed up the queues by inspecting and ensuring that the passengers’ travel requirements are complete while they are still on the line.

    “It’s a matter of deploying more people to focus on OFWs,” Medina said, adding that “it’s a small move, but you’ll be surprised at the impact on easing the lines for them.”

    The new directive has also instructed BI officers to “expeditiously process the documents of OFWs.”

    Medina explained that normally, a passenger is processed within 45 seconds, but with the new scheme, it may decrease the processing time up to 33 percent.

    The POD chief said that OFWs referred for secondary inspection due to concerns on their travel documents will likewise be prioritized and the matter resolved within 10 minutes.

    He added that OFWs are also given priority at the arrival area through the installation of 21 e-gates in major airports.

    Morente on his part announced that the scheme is only part of the series of improvements he plans to implement.

    “The year 2019 will be all about process improvement,” he said, adding “we have studied what can do to provide better service. The e-gates and the pre-screening of OFWs are just the beginning.”

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    MIAA strongly committed in enhancing security

    December 25th, 2018
    Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1. Image © philippineflightnetwork.com

    By Benjie Lim Vergara

    AIRPORT General Manager Ed Monreal said that the Manila International Airport Authority is committed to work with the United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to boost security measures for the protection of passengers.

    “We were informed by the TSA about their observations regarding procedures, processes, equipment and personnel posting at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) following an assessment period from September 26 to December 5 this year during which time the MIAA and the Office for Transportation Security (OTS) have implemented measures to rectify and make improvements on security issues that were identified,” Monreal said in a recent press statement.

    He said that new background checks procedures for newly-hired airport personnel will include neighborhood and NICA (National Intelligence Coordinating Agency) checks for those implementing security control, and submission of new NBI clearances for all MIAA access pass holders will be required.

    The airport security chief said that strict measures are being put in place in terms of personnel manning security checkpoints.

    In case of a delinquency report, the concerned personnel will be immediately pulled out from the line and will undergo retraining before being sent back on line. But of a second delinquency incident occurs, then the personnel will be suspended or fired.

    Monreal added that the procurement for the needed equipment such as walk through metal detectors, x-ray machines and alarm systems are already ongoing in compliance with government rules and procedures.

    “Procurement for the necessary equipment are ongoing, but we need to understand that we cannot have these instantly. These are not items off the shelves, and manufacturing time after we place the orders may take six months. But as instructed by DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade, we will make sure there will be no delays in the process so we can make use of these equipment within 2019,” Monreal said.

    Monreal, at the same time, disclosed that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) had furnished the MIAA and OTS copies of its latest security audit findings saying that both agencies satisfactorily complied with ICAO standards with some comments and suggestions on implementing the corrective action plan crafted by said government agencies.

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    Be wary of bogus Japanese language centers – expert

    December 10th, 2018

    By Benjamin Lim Vergara

    FILIPINO workers aspiring to work in Japan must be extra cautious in enrolling in some Japanese language centers that are not accredited with Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

    Recruitment and migration expert Emmanuel Geslani said Japan has opened up job market for 500,000 foreign workers which Nihongo is one of the requirements in qualifying for work in Japan.

    Geslani warned that many of these language training centers have victimized Filipino workers with the promise of being able to land jobs in Japan after their very expensive language course in Nihongo. He said that with the recent news of more job openings in Japan for agriculture, construction, shipbuilding, nursing and care giving, some of these language training centers sprouted up especially in the provinces where supervision and monitoring of local government units is lax.

    Foreign workers will be allowed to stay in Japan for five years under a new framework that covers some categories – agriculture, construction, lodging, nursing and shipbuilding.

    The foreign workers will be required to pass a test demonstrating proficiency in the relevant field and the Japanese language. Those who go through the country’s foreign trainee program will be exempted from the test and could stay for a total of 10 years.

    Geslani said that a record 1.28 million foreigners were working in Japan in 2017, more than double the 480,000 in 2008. Nearly a third of them, at 29 percent, were from China, followed by 19 percent from Vietnam, 12 percent from the Philippines, 9 percent from Brazil and five percent from Nepal.

    The framework will make inroads into solving a severe labor crunch in Japan while creating jobs for foreign workers, which have thus far been limited to highly specialized positions due to concerns that an influx of immigrants could lead to a rise in crime.

    The framework will include the five-year limit as well as barring foreign workers form bringing family members with them.

    Geslaniadded that the Philippines has been deploying Filipino workers toJapan for the past years but mostly trainees with large companies.

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    PH government launched “Oplan Biyaheng Ayos: Pasko 2018”

    December 9th, 2018

    By Benjamin Lim Vergara

    (File photo) NAIA Terminal 1

    THE different government agencies at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport has launched Oplan Biyaheng Ayos: Pasko 2018 to ensure safe, reliable, and convenient airport operations as Filipinos and tourists travel for the Christmas and New Year.

    Aviation authorities will be putting in place additional security measures for maximum deployment of service and security personnel in anticipation of the expected volume surge of air travelers during the Holiday Season.

    The Oplan will run from December 10, 2018 to January 5, 2019.

    The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) and the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), the operator of NAIA, supervised the program under the directives of Department of Transportation.

    In line with the Oplan, all four area cluster heads handling the 40 CAAP-managed commercial airports nationwide were also advised to implement a “no leave and day-off” policy during the conduct of the Oplan.

    Other government agencies operating at the airport, including the Office for Transportation Security, and the Philippine National Police-Aviation Security Group, will also deploy personnel at areas of concern to ensure smooth flow.

    The CAAP, MIAA, Bureau of Customs and Bureau of Immigration has also coordinated with concerned airlines on the efficient processing of passengers, especially at check-in counters.

    Travelers are also reminded not to bring prohibited items to the airport and to stow all belongings in one’s carry-on baggage for faster processing at the screening checkpoints.

    In December last year, Philippine airports welcomed 6,342,510 domestic and international passengers, with 3,787,648 of these passengers arriving and departing through the country’s premier airport.

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    NAIA conducts bomb drill

    December 4th, 2018

    By Benjamin Lim Vergara

    (File photo) SEcurity personnel at the NAIA. Photo by ibtimes.com

    AVIATION authorities on Tuesday conducted full-scale security drill at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to train bomb explosive ordinance personnel to respond rapidly to cases of bomb threats or actual bombings.

    Conducting a full scale security exercise to practice its crisis action plan on one scenario of possible Acts of Unlawful Interference is part of the NAIA Crisis Management Organization.

    Personnel from the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ), and other government agencies, as well as the airline operators, took part in the exercise.

    According to the MIAA, the action plan of the exercise “aims to resolve a bomb explosion incident effectively and efficiently in order to guarantee the fast return to normalcy of operation of the NAIA.”

    The scenario was of a car bomb incident at the airport’s parking area where aviation police bomb personnel immediately cordoned the place.

    With the assessment made by the bomb disposal unit, the airport’s crisis management committee – concerned with the formulation of bomb explosion management policy – activated the airport emergency plan to handle the crisis where the area was cleared with non-essential vehicles, equipment and persons near the vicinity of the explosion site.

    Canine unit from the Special Operations Unit (SOU) of the PNP-Aviation Security Group performed “bomb explosion intervention/operation” at the seat of the explosion.

    The MIAA provided firefighting and rescue personnel, logistics as well as medical team as support group.

     

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    BoC foiled attempt to smuggle foreign currency in PH

    December 2nd, 2018

    By Benjamin Lim Vergara

    (File photo) NAIA Terminal 1

    THE Bureau of Customs at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Friday has intercepted a huge amount of undeclared foreign currency brought into the country by a Korean tourist, the bureau said yesterday.

    Kim Junheon arrived in the Philippines late Friday night on board a Philippine Airlines flight from Hong Kong with an undeclared cash amounting to HK$3.828 million (about PhP255 million) in his possession. He was about to exit the arrival Customs area with his silver carry-on bag when Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) agent Tomas Maranan stopped him.

    The surprised tourist was then directed by the intelligence agent to place his luggage to the portable x-ray machine for scanning. It was then that bundles of Hong Kong dollars were found.

    The BoC, in a statement, said bringing in or out of foreign currencies in the Philippines is allowed but must be declared when it exceed US$10,000 using the foreign currency declaration form upon arrival or prior to departure from the country’s airports.

    Port of NAIA District Collector Carmelita Talusan said Kim’s failure to declare the foreign currency is in violation of provisions of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (RA 10863) in relation to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Manual of Regulations on Foreign Exchange.

    The Korean national could only get what is authorized by law which is US$10,000 or its equivalent in local currency while the rest of his money will be seized in favor of the government.

    Kim, through his lawyer, said he will appeal the BoC’s decision to the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas with his lawyer. Moreover, Kim’s lawyer told Customs officials that his client has declared his money.

    However, customs authorities said Kim declared his cash only after he was caught.

    BoC-NAIA has been consistent in its vigilance in protecting the borders. It has a record-breaking 27 drug bust in a span of six months and have stopped several attempts of illegal wildlife trade, concealed and mis-declared goods.

     

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    “Filipinos are honest and hospitable” — Korean tourist

    November 28th, 2018

    By Benjamin Lim Vergara

    Hwang Sung Ha (center) poses with airport officials . Photo by Benjie Vergara

    “I will tell them that Filipinos are honest and hospitable.”

    Thus said a Korean tourist who never expected to see cash-laden pouch he lost at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport almost a month ago.

    Hwang Sung Ha, who was scheduled to depart last Monday (November 26) via Asiana Airlines flight OZ702, was speechless after again seeing his pouch intact.

    The Korean arrived in the Philippines via the country’s premier airport on October 31, 2018 at around 10 p.m. He dropped his pouch at the UBE Express bus counter at the NAIA arrival area.

    The pouch was later found by Judith Mertola of Lucky Jet Travel & Tours around 12:30 a.m. the following day. When she checked the pouch’s content, she was surprised to see that it contains an Asiana Club Visa card, Shinsegae Duty Free card, US$2,056, 31,000 Korean won, 6,020 Thai baht, and P20, which totals to P120,614.87.

    Efforts were exerted by the Manila International Airport Authority’s Lost and Found Section to find Hwang but to no avail.

    Last Monday while Hwang was about to check-in at the Asiana Airlines counter for his flight back home, he was approached by a ground handling agent and invited him to the airport’s Intelligence and Investigation Division office to claim his pouch.

    “He was so happy to learn that what he thought was lost, and was grateful that his pouch was found by an honest airport staff,” an airport official said.

    Hwang admitted to airport authorities that he got dismayed and would have left with a bad impression about the Philippines.

    Airport officials quoting the Korean tourist said “this experience is worth sharing with my colleagues and relatives. I will tell them that Filipinos are honest and hospitable.”

    Hwang promised to visit the Philippines again.

     

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    First PH eco-airport to be inaugurated today

    November 26th, 2018

    By Benjamin Lim Vergara

    Bohol Panglao International Airport. Image by Inquirer.net

    THE new Bohol-Panglao International Airport will be inaugurated today to soon provide direct access to the island paradise of Panglao in Bohol.

    The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said the PhP8.914 billion Panglao airport, which was built in a 220-hectare site in Panglao island, is 10 times bigger than Tagbilaran Airport’s 22-hectare land area. It can hold up to 650 passengers during its peak hours compared to Tagbilaran Airport’s capacity of 400 passengers.

    Attending as the guest of honor is President Rodrigo Duterte. The other guests are Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, CAAP Director General Jim Sydiongco, Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto, Department of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, and National Economic Development Authority Secretary Ernesto Pernia.

    The airport’s construction started in June 2015, but accumulated up to 48 percent slippage due to delays, reports said.

    “The construction of the new airport with international standards was launched in cooperation with the Government of Japan and funding support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The new airport is set to be the country’s first eco-airport, taking pride with its complete airport facilities that feature green and sustainable structures, such as solar panels and motion sensor lighting, among others,” the CAAP said.

    The airport can accommodate seven aircraft at one time, including large aircraft for international flights, and was expected to accommodate two million passengers in its opening year.

     

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    PAL set to operate in Hokkaido next month

    November 22nd, 2018

    By Benjamin Lim Vergara

    PAL President and COO Jaime J. Bautista and Hokkaido Vice Governor Hitoshi Kubota hold a miniature Airbus A321neo PAL plane

    HOKKAIDO government officials led by Vice Governor Hitoshi Kubota on Wednesday paid a courtesy call on Philippine Airlines President and COO Jaime J. Bautista at the PAL Corporate headquarters in Pasay City.

    The Hokkaido government is in the midst of organizing tourism promotional campaigns to drive travelers to this Japanese region.

    “Tourist spots and destinations in Hokkaido are open for domestic and international tourists. It is business as usual. The region has recovered from the September 6 earthquake,” Kubota said during his meeting with PAL officials.

    PAL will begin operating the Manila-Sapporo route starting December 7, 2018. It aims to serve the growing demand for direct flights to one of Japan’s popular destinations, especially Filipino tourists.

    Sapporo is the capital of the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, known for its skiing and annual Sapporo Snow Festival featuring enormous ice sculpture.

    Hokkaido, which was hit by an earthquake on September 6, suffered a decline in tourist visit since then. To overcome such adversity, the Hokkaido government has invited Filipinos to travel to the tourist spots and destinations in Hokkaido that remain safe to travel.

    Bautista, on his part, said that “PAL’s upcoming new service between Manila and Sapporo – starting December 7, 2018 – will further boost the flag carrier’s presence in Japan.”

    PAL has recently won another international victory be earning the world’s Most Improved Airline for 2019 award, according to the Australia-bases airline review firm AirlineRatings.com. This is the fourth major global accolade to be received by PAL in 2018.

    The airline is all set for the 5-hour-30 minute Manila-Sapporo maiden journey which will utilize the brand-new 168-seater Airbus single-aisle A321neo aircraft, with 12 full-flat business class seats and 156 economy seats with wider legroom and inseat TV monitors on all seats, Wi-fi connection, reduced noise levels and myPAL e-Suite to access over 300 hours of inflight entertainment selections.

    From Manila, PAL currently flies to Fukuoka, Haikou, Nagoya, Osaka (Kansai), and Tokyo (via Narita and Haneda); from Cebu, PAL operates flights to Nagoya, Osaka and Tokyo. There are also daily PAL flights between Taipei and Osaka.

    All these services translate to a total of 89 weekly PAL flights between the Philippines and Japan making PAL the only Philippine carrier with the largest route network in Japan from its own tow main hubs in Manila and Cebu.

     

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    X-MAS at NAIA

    November 20th, 2018

    By Benjamin Lim Vergara

    Giant Xmas tree at NAIA 2 greets Pinoys returning for holidays. Image by GMA Network

    AIR travelers can’t help but stare at the unique, avant-garde Christmas tree at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) with a bright, fun and funky colors.

    The Christmas tree was lit up on Monday evening by Philippine Airlines (PAL) President and COO Jaime J. Bautista and Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Ed Monreal at the Terminals 1 and 2, ushering in the holiday season at the country’s premier gateway.

    We want this Christmas tree to be a beacon of hope and goodwill that illuminates the dreams and wishes of everyone celebrating Christmas with their families this year,” Bautista said.

    The distinctive pop art installation, replacing the traditional pine tree, greets arriving and departing passengers at Terminals 1 and 2, respectively, and will do so until the end of January next year.

    According to PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna, the flag carrier commissioned Miguel Miñana and ThemeWorks (an event firm) to give the airport terminals a different decorative twist for the holiday season.

    The goal of the designers is to transform the businesslike terminal spaces into the “streets of Manila,” evoking the sound and colors of the mega-city that sprawls beyond the confines of the airport, she added.

    The twenty-feet Christmas tree has pop art panel installations that rise to the ceilings of the airport lobbies. It has cut-out stands of the jeepneys, kalesas and sorbetes (ice cream) carts. The color schemes of the two terminals evoked the Philippine flag – blue for terminal 1 and red for terminal 2.

    This Christmas tree is meant to project a uniquely Filipino spirit, honoring the fun-loving, creative and passionate people who make our capital city such a dynamic and unforgettable place. So, when citizens of faraway nations come to visit our country, they will feel and see that there’s no Christmas like a Pinoy Christmas,” Bautista added.

    The Christmas displays offer photo opportunities for selfies and group photos for arriving tourists and returning Filipino family members at terminal 2, where the Christmas tree is mounted outdoors at both the arrival and departure lobby foyers.

    Meanwhile, the Christmas tree in the check-in lobby of terminal 1 offers a fitting pictorial remembrance for passengers before departing to distant destinations.

    PAL emphasized that while PAL maintains its international and domestic hub at terminal 2, the airline operates six international flights out of terminal 1 – to Canada and select Middle East destinations. Flights arriving from Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco are also at terminal 1.

     

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    OTS asked Arroyo to remove shoes

    November 13th, 2018

    By Benjamin Lim Vergara

     

    House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Image © https://en.wikipedia.org

    AN Office for Transportation Security (OTS) personnel broke protocol when he asked former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to take off her shoes as she passes a security checkpoint at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport recently.

    This despite the alleged coordination between airport security officials and the Presidential Security Group team responsible for Ms. Arroyo’s security. This prompted some airport officials to chastise Joel Rosanto, the security personnel who made Ms. Arroyo walked barefooted, for “stepping over the line.”

    Ms. Arroyo was on her way to the departure area at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport where she is to board a Japan bound plane last October 27 when she was stopped by Rosanto for failing to remove her shoes. Despite the seeming disrespect, the former president gamely removed her shoes, walked barefooted and passed through the security checkpoint.

    Arroyo returned on November 8 and was met by apologetic airport officials.

    A video of the incident shows Rosanto preventing Ms. Arroyo from passing through the security checkpoint without removing her shoes as required. The same video also showed the PSG escorts of Ms. Arroyo confronting Rosanto after she passed through the security checkpoint.

    When interviewed by reporters on Monday, Rosanto insists that Arroyo’s group failed to coordinate with the OTS hence he asked the former president asked to remove her shoes.

    Trabaho lang po sa akin (it’s my job as a frisker),” Rosanto said who was the team leader at that time. “Sorry, we are just doing our jobs.”

     

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    Unclaimed airport terminal fees to be kept until refunded to its owners — MIAA

    November 7th, 2018

    By Benjamin Lim Vergara

    THE unclaimed airport terminal fees of overseas Filipino workers will be remain in a trust fund and refunded to its owners once claimed.

    Thus pledged Manila International Airport (MIAA) General Manager Ed Monreal on Wednesday after Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello said anew that the money should be refunded to their rightful owners.

    “The amount is kept by MIAA in a trust account and is distinct and separate from the agency’s corporate funds. The money does not belong to MIAA. It will remain in the trust account until fully refunded to the passengers who own them,” Monreal said, stressing that OFWs can claim it anytime.

    He added that domestic terminal fees remitted to the MIAA now totals PhP172,333,700. This amount came from Cebu Pacific Air/CebGo and covers unused tickets while a total of PhP105,320,679 was remitted to the MIAA by 18 international carriers. This amount pertains to international terminal fees left unrefunded by OFW and non-OFW passengers.

    (Read More: http://beyonddeadlines.com/2018/11/01/terminal-fee-hike-for-naia-set-next-year/)

    The MIAA said the total amount remitted by air carriers amounts to PhP277,654,379 as of November 6.

    “This is contrary to the PhP500-million which came out in news reports earlier this week,” Monreal clarified.

    Meanwhile, the MIAA said an OFW need only to present the pertinent documents to make a claim.

    “OFWs only need to present their copy of the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) and ticket among others, to refund,” the MIAA explained.

    On the other hand, the MIAA added, non-OFW passengers with unused airline tickets may refund by showing their ticket or proof of purchase and ownership or certification from the airline that they were not able to take their flight.

    MIAA GM Ed Monreal Photo © http://interaksyon.com

    As this developed, Monreal said Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade has given the order to transfer the funds to the appropriate agency if directed by the authority vested with the mandate to decide on the matter.

    On Tuesday, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) clarified a statement regarding the call of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to refund the PhP500 million terminal fees and travel taxes paid by OFWs departing from different international airports in the country.

    CAAP said it collects terminal fees only on its seven international airports namely Puerto Princesa, Davao, Gensan, Zamboanga, Iloilo, Kalibo and Laoag, which are seldom use by OFWs in leaving for their destination abroad.

    “This is complicated further because it is the airlines the collect terminal fees.”

    The country’s aviation regulator said that the CAAP is an attached agency of the DOTr, just like separated airport authorities such as the NAIA, Clark, Mactan Cebu and Lalo (Cesa). These authorities have their own refund procedures as well.

    Travel taxes are normally included in the ticket fare and are being collected by Tieza, under the Department of Tourism.

    Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III. Image © Rappler

    Bello recently asked the CAAP anew to refund PhP550 million in terminal fees collected from OFWs.

    Bello noted that OFWs are also exempted from paying travel tax.

    He said DOLE has sent another letter to the CAAP reiterating its request for the regulator to stop collecting terminal fees from OFWs and to return the collected fees to the OWWA.

     

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    OFW who killed Arab employer in self defense is back home

    November 2nd, 2018

    By Benjamin Lim Vergara

    Jennifer Dalquez flanked by her parents. Photo by Manila Bulletin

    JENNIFER Dalquez the overseas Filipino worker who was acquitted for killing her employer four years ago in the United Arab Emirates returned home Friday.

    Arriving at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on board Philippine Airlines flight PR657 from Abu Dhabi, Dalaquez was reunited with her parents Rajima Hamid and Abdul Hamid and met by Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) personnel.

    Dalquez, upon landing, expressed her profound gratitude to the Philippine government especially to President Duterte for her release from jail.

    Nagpapasalamat po ako sa ating gobyerno at kay Pangulong Duterte sa tulong na ginawa para makalabas ako ng bilangguan (I thank the government as well as President Duterte for their efforts of getting me out from imprisonment),” Dalquez said at a press briefing held at the NAIA terminal 1.

    Dalquez killed her employer in self defense as he tried to rape her in December 7, 2014.

    Reports said the Court of First Instance heard her case in March 2015.

    The Philippine Embassy in UAE appealed her conviction and successfully had it overturned by a local court in 2017.

    Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Office of Migrant Workers Affairs Sarah Lou Y. Arriola said the DFA has exhausted all legal remedies to see to it that she would be able to return home and be reunited with her loved ones.

    Arriola said Dalquez received assistance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and financial assistance from the DFA, OWWA and the Department of Labor and Employment, and scholarship to her child as well.

    Dalquez and her parents will briefly stay at the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) before flying to her hometown in General Santos City.

     

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    Terminal fee hike for NAIA set next year

    November 1st, 2018

    By Benjamin Lim Vergara

    THE Manila International Airport Authority has increased the international and domestic flights terminal fee to enable the country’s premier airport to cope with the rising cost of operations and improvements.

    This after the MIAA board decided to approve the minimal fee increase following public hearings.

    MIAA general manager Ed Monreal said the terminal fee adjustment would be implemented in the second quarter next year since the last time the management increased terminal fees was 1999.

    “Historically, maliit lang ang terminal fee sa NAIA, mataas sa Cebu at Clark airports (our terminal fee is lesser than Cebu and Clark airports),” Monreal said during the Kapihan with Art held at the NAIA terminal 1 on Wednesday, adding that it is necessary in order to maintain and improve the facilities.

    According to Monreal, the NAIA terminal fee is cheapest compared to Mactan Cebu International Airport which charged international passengers with PhP850, and PhP300 for the domestic passengers. Subic Bay International Airport the rate is PhP650 for international and PhP150 for domestic. At Clark International Airport, its terminal fee is PhP600 for international while PhP150 for domestic.

    The NAIA terminal fee hike for international flights (International Passenger Service Charge) will be PhP200 thus increasing the IPSC from PhP550 to PhP750, and for domestic flights, the rate increase is PhP100 thus raising the present PhP200 rate to PhP300. The increase will take effect in April 2019.

    The terminal fee hike, Monreal stressed, is also to cover the airport operational expenses such as on infrastructures and service improvements, and other expenses. The new terminal fees will also be included in the plane tickets and paid by the airlines.

    The airport chief pointed out that the proposed adjustment is also part of the airport’s rehabilitation plan.

    NAIA has history of international terminal fee increases – from April 1, 1993, was PhP250 and it increased to PhP300; then to PhP500 in April 1, 1994, and in April 1, 1999 it raised to PhP550.

    While the domestic flights, MIAA charged passengers from PhP100 to PhP200 in September 2005.

    Monreal said terminal fee exemptions are still in effect to overseas Filipino workers, athletes, children below two years old, and government officials with official travel.

     

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    Ghanaian held at NAIA over fake Canadian visa

    October 30th, 2018

    By Benjamin Lim Vergara

    IMMIGRATION authorities at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport foiled an attempt by a foreign national to use the Philippines as jump-off point to Canada, it was reported today.

    Abdul Wahab Issah, 36, was apprehended at the NAIA terminal 2 on October 21 after officers of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) discovered a fake Canadian visa on his passport.

    BI Port Operations Division chief Grifton Medina said Issah has a scheduled flight to Toronto but was immediately collared after immigration officers noticed the bogus Canadian visa.

    Issah, who is now detained awaiting deportation proceedings, later admitted that he bought the fake visa it for US$6,000 from a fraud syndicate in his country.

    Consequently, Medina instructed all immigration officers nationwide to increase their vigilance in monitoring foreign travelers to ensure that syndicates will be unable to take advantage of the coming holidays to smuggle aliens in and out of the country.

    Recently, the bureau has reshuffled some 200 members of the Travel Control and Enforcement Unit (TCEU) at all international airports including the NAIA. The move was one of the numerous changes aimed to prevent fraternization, which has been pinpointed as a major source of corruption in government agencies.

    The TCEU is a special team of immigration officers whose task is to conduct secondary inspection of arriving and departing international passengers especially arriving foreigners who have doubtful purpose in entering the country and departing Filipino tourists who may be victimized by human traffickers and illegal recruiters.

     

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    Taguig hospital upgrades equipment

    October 28th, 2018

    By Benjamin Lim Vergara

    Taguig Pateros District Hospital. Image by Google Sites

    TAGUIG City residents need not to go to private hospitals to avail high-quality healthcare service.

    This after city residents were assured that the “probinsyudad” is not left behind when it comes to high-quality innovations and modern upgrades in healthcare following the recent installation by the city-run Taguig Pateros District Hospital (TPDH) of brand new medical equipment that will surely provide better healthcare services to Taguigeños.

    Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano said among these high-tech apparatuses are the C-Arm, a medical imaging based on X-ray technology, and an endoscopy machine which is used for upper gastrointestinal endoscopy (to look into the esophagus, stomach and small intestines), lower gastrointestinal endoscopy (rectum, colon) and bronchoscopy (lungs).

    The hospital also acquired modern blood-clotting devices such as the Erbe electrocautery machine and Argon plasma coagulator.

    Argon plasma coagulation (APC) is a form of electrosurgery that helps control internal bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract, liver and spleen, among others. The equipment uses argon gas turned into plasma, aiding clotting when sprayed on the lesion. The electrocautery machine heats tissues with electricity to prevent or stop bleeding after an injury or during surgery.

    The city hospital now also has its own Mammography Center and CT Scan facility equipped with a Siemens Somatom 16 Slice CT Scan, a Digital X-Ray and a Digital Mobile X-Ray. These equipment provide high-quality images with lesser waiting time.

    On top of all these addition is a brand-new laparoscopic machine. It enables doctors to operate on a patient’s abdomen through small incisions, with the aid of a camera.

    “With the installation of this machine, doctors don’t need to do massive incisions to patients,” explained Dr. Timoteo Neil Trinidad, chairperson of the Department of Surgical Sciences and head of the ER Trauma Department at TPDH. The laparoscopic machine allows the surgeons to do a minimally invasive procedure which is associated with less pain and less danger for the patient. With the laparoscopic surgery, patients enjoy a shorter hospital stay as long as they do not encounter complications.

    A laparoscopic machine has many uses, but is particularly well-suited for procedures like cholecystectomy — the surgical removal of the gallbladder, hernia (luslos) and gastrointestinal perforation. Dr. Trinidad explained that almost all surgeries are possible with the amazing capability of the laparoscopy machine.

    Presently, three to four surgeons in TPDH are skilled on the use of the laparoscopy procedure, acknowledged as one of the very highly skilled procedures in the field of medicine. Only surgeons who are accredited or who have a specialization in the area can do the operation.

    Dr. Trinidad said that the plan to purchase new medical devices in the future is always there. He explained that they will keep on researching new equipment that are more advanced, user- and patient-friendly.

    “With these state-of-the-art upgrades of TPDH medical facilities, we assure our residents that the city government is determined in providing the best healthcare services,” Mayor Lani said.

    Since her first term in 2010, the lady mayor has helped raise the quality of the facilities at the city hospital. TPDH now operates the Taguig City Human Milk Bank, the Taguig Social Hygiene Drop-in Center, a TB-DOTS clinic and its own Home Health Unit, which provides free home-care nursing services for bedridden patients.

    In 2015, the Department of Health recognized TPDH as a Mother-Baby Friendly Hospital.

    The city makes it a point to enroll indigent patients to PhilHealth’s Point-of-Care Program. The program allows financially incapable patients – either non-members classified as Class C-3 or D; or members not covered due to the lack of qualifying contribution and classified as Class C-3 or D — to get the medical treatment they need.

    TPDH also implements Philhealth’s “no-balance billing” scheme which makes medical treatments for indigents free-of-charge.

    The local government of Taguig intends to continue finding ways to provide top-class medical services to its constituents without sacrificing the essence of public service: affordability and accessibility.

    “What we want is for every Taguigeño to avail in our very own hospital the same quality medical service private hospitals offer — without them having to travel far or pay as much. Everything that we have done so far is for the greater good of our constituents,” Cayetano added.

     

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    Abide airport security rules, the MIAA asked the public

    October 25th, 2018

    By Benjamin Lim Vergara

    ibtimes.com

    AIRPORT officials on Wednesday appealed to the public to abide the strict security rules being implemented at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

    Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Ed Monreal said the “old culture” must be set aside in order for the airport to maintain its Category 1 rating.

    The NAIA has been on heightened alert since obtaining the rating thus subjecting all stakeholders, as well as airport users, to much stricter security rules.

    According to Monreal during the Kapihan sa NAIA, since NAIA has been rated Category 1, the MIAA should keep to maintain such category rating.

    NAIA’s Category 1 status symbolizes its compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards.

    To maintain a Category 1 rating, a country must adhere to the safety standards of ICAO, the United Nations’ technical agency for aviation that establishes international standards and recommended practices for aircraft operations and maintenance, according to a website.

    “The present set up was part of the findings of external security audit. And we have to improve our security to maintain the Category 1 rating,” Monreal said adding that the MIAA has continued complying security audit to keep from being downgraded. The external audit, Monreal said, is an international standard.

    The external security audit includes the inspection of airside, the distance of the runway, and complete lighting.

    The auditing group is comprised of US-Federal Aviation Administration, Transportation Security Administration, Homeland Security, Canada, Australia and the Office for Transportation Security of the DOTr.

    Stakeholders and airport users as well as visitors have undergone strict security check particularly at the airport sentry.

    Airport officials and employees riding on a vehicle at the airport’s ramp were being asked to alight to undergo body frisking.

    “No one is exempted. All of us were being frisked by security personnel detailed at the ramp area,” MIAA assistant general manager for security and emergency services Arnulfo Junio said.

    (Read More: http://beyonddeadlines.com/2018/10/10/bullied-office-for-transport-security-screener-will-not-file-raps-vs-party-list-rep-aniceto-bertiz-fears-for-his-life/)

    On his part, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Undersecretary Manuel Antonio Tamayo has expressed that everything is being addressed when it comes to security, “we are not letting our guard down. We are always on alert.”

    He added that the Philippines have more than 70 percent global average, which means that our aviation is out of danger of being downgraded to Category 2.

     

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    PAL ferry service in Boracay

    October 24th, 2018

    By Benjamin Lim Vergara

    PAL Spkesperson Cielo Villaluna

    AN affiliate of flag carrier Philippine Airlines will soon provide ferry service in Boracay to draw more tourists in the island resort.

    PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said the airline on Tuesday held a Mabuhay Maritime Express Naming Ceremony at Esplanade Seaside Terminal in Pasay City followed by a cruise to a coastal paradise at Pico de Loro Beach and County Club in Nasugbo, Batangas.

    Mabuhay Maritime Express Transport Inc., also known as MME, is a subsidiary of PAL Inc., which was established in August 2016, according to Villaluna.

    “MME will initially provide ferry service between Kalibo and Boracay, and vice versa utilizing brand-new 42-meter catamarans,” Villaluna said.

    Mabuhay Maritime will particularly cater to PAL’s airline passengers, PAL said.

    Meanwhile, in anticipation of the re-opening of Boracay island (Malay, Aklan) on October 26, PAL will resume flights between Manila and Caticlan, Cebu and Kalibo. The airline also has reminded its passengers that a pre-booking with a hotel is required as a prerequisite to enter the island of Boracay.

    “The Department of Tourism will be implementing to a ‘no booking/no entry policy’ and will be setting up a verification booth at the Caticlan Airport and the Kalibo International Airport. Passengers are advised to book their stay with officially-compliant establishments,” PAL said in an advisory.

     

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    Customs seizes juvenile snakes

    October 18th, 2018

    By Benjamin Lim Vergara

    Image © http://www.notey.com

    THE Bureau of Customs at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Wednesday confiscated 12 juvenile pythons at the Central Mail Exchange Center in Pasay City.

    Port of NAIA Collector Carmelita Talusan said the exotic snakes were concealed inside a package and “were misdeclared as Taro chips from Indonesia.”

    Market price of these newly-hatched snakes ranges from PhP5,000 to PhP20,000.

    Photo by Benjamin Lim Vergara

    According to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), a full-grown reticulated python snake, which is considered the world’s longest and heaviest snake that usually constrict its prey, can weigh as much as 30-40 kilograms and grow as much as 17 to 18 feet on an average.

    The BOC-NAIA noted that importation of such wildlife species without the necessary permits is a violation of Section 117 in relation to section 1401, CMTA, RA 9147 (Wildlife Resources Conservation & Protection Act) and Republic Act No 8485, otherwise known as The Animal Welfare Act of 1998.

    The non-venomous python snakes which recently arrived in CMEC were turned over to DENR representatives led by lawyer Andres Mikhail Villaruel for proper handling and protection.

    Talusan stressed that in the first two weeks of October 2018 alone, in its dedication to protect the public, the environment and the Philippine wildlife, Port of NAIA has apprehended one live mangrove snake and 250 live Gecko lizards which were also turned over to the Bureau of Animal Industry and DENR.

     

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    BOC turns over used clothing to DSWD, seized drugs as well as live snake

    October 12th, 2018

    By Benjamin Lim Vergara

    Image © http://www.notey.com

    THE Bureau of Customs-Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Thursday has turned over about 120 boxes of abandoned clothes and pillows, bedding and blankets to the Department of Social Welfare and Development for use of Typhoon Ompong victims.

    BOC Commissioner Isidro Lapeña said the items and personal effects came from delayed luggage of passengers, who arrived earlier at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) from abroad. He added that some passengers have abandoned the items since they did not claim it despite the several notices sent to them by the bureau.

    Perlita Panganiban of the DSWD disaster response assistance management said the clothing would be disseminated mostly to the 43,072 families in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) that were affected by the typhoon.

    Lapeña said the released of assorted items is in compliance to President Duterte’s directives to give the seized clothing to the typhoon victims.

    Meanwhile, the BOC also turned over a mangrove snake to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) as well as cocaine, shabu, and kush marijuana to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

    Customs officials said the live mangrove snake or gold-ringed snake was intended for export to Taiwan when intercepted.

    According to a website, the Boiga dendrophila, commonly called the mangrove snake or gold-ringed cat snake, is a specie of rear-fangedcolubrid from southeast Asia. It is one of the biggest cat snake species, averaging six to eight feet in length. It is considered mildly venomous.

    Furthermore, the BOC said some PhP850,000 worth of marijuana leaves, PhP1.434 million worth of suspected metamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu and PhP12.345 million worth of suspected cocaine were turned over to the PDEA.

    The marijuana, which was concealed in a portable heater, was consigned to a certain Raven Delosa from Quezon City came from United States.

    The shabu, which came from the United Kingdom, was declared as baby dress and birthday card, and consigned to Joy Bido Mariel of Dasmariñas, Cavite. Mariel was later arrested on September 22.

    The cocaine, which was declared a supplementary sheet, came from Sao Paolo, Brazil was consigned to Johnmel Natividad of Caloocan City.

    Talusan said, to date, Port of NAIA has a record-breaking of 27 drug busts in span of six months from April to October 2018 and has been hitting and exceeding their revenue collection target for the months of May to September 2018.

     

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    Another breakthrough for MIAA

    October 10th, 2018

    By Benjamin Lim Vergara

    THE Manila International airport Authority which runs the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. The country’s premier airport, has another breakthrough by earning an ISO certification under ISO 2001:2015 standards.

    The certificate was awarded by the International Standards Certification (ISC) Global, MIAA’s current certifying body. ISC-Global is one of the pillars in developing ISO standards and among the fastest growing certification body in the industry.

    “The Authority has sustained the spirit of ISO 9001 by complying with the standards and requirements and thus achieving a successful transition to the 2015 version,” the MIAA said in a statement.

    MIAA General Manager Ed Monreal received the ISO 9001:2015 certification.

    MIAA’s certification journey started in 2008 when it first earned its ISO certification under ISO 9001:2008 standards.

    ISO 9001:2008 is focused on meeting customer expectations and achieving customer satisfaction. In simple terms, it is customer-focused, the MIAA said, adding that “under this standard, an organization should ensure continuous improvement in its products and services to meet customer requirements.”

    The MIAA pointed out that internally, the organization will be benefited from increased job satisfaction, improved morale, and improved operational results.

    On the other hand, risk-based thinking is the focus of ISO 9001:2015 standards.

    Besides meeting customer expectations, organizations are now encouraged to use risk analysis in order to address challenges in their business processes.

    The concept of risk is paramount in the 7 quality management principles of ISO 9001:2015 namely customer focus; leadership; engagement of people; process approach; improvement; evidence-based decision making and relationship management.

     

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