The Philippines Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) will invest PHP500m ($11.65m) to upgrade security equipment at 45 airports in the country.
The funds will be used for the purchase of 46 sets of passenger metal detectors and baggage x-ray machines, nine special cargo x-ray machines, and 59 closed circuit television (CCTV) systems as well as refurbish 22 non-operational x-ray machines.
Philippines DOTC secretary, Mar Roxas, told sunstar.com.ph: "We will install, upgrade and layer the security screening for all 45 airports that presently have commercial flights."
Roxas continued: "Of those 45, less than half or only 21 have a security screening facility."
The 21 airports have initial security checkpoints but only the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and the Cebu and Davao airports have final security checkpoints before the passenger boards the plane.
Roxas said: "The bidding process will start on the first week of April with the first deliveries to be made within 60 days so that by the end of the year, all will be delivered and installed. By the end of the year, all the 45 airports will have appropriate security facilities."
As per the international standards, the layered screening will be conducted when the passenger arrived or enter the terminal, and for baggage that are subjected to multiple screening to check for metallic objects, explosives and organic matter.
The government is planning to bring back its aviation sector to Category 1 status after the US Federal Aviation Administration demoted it to Category 2 in 2007 due to safety issues and lack of technical personnel.
Image: Ninoy Aquino International Airport has final security checkpoints before the passenger boards the plane. Photo: Mithril Cloud.