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Airport staff warned: ‘Don’t open luggage of OFWs, tourists’

by | News

Airport personnel should refrain from opening the bags and luggage of returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and tourists in the country.

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade reiterated this, following an incident involving a Korean couple who said some of their valuables, a wristwatch, and an electronic cigarette, went missing at the Clark International Airport last Feb. 13.

Inuulit ko po, huwag buksan o pag-interesan ang mga bagahe ng ating mga OFWs pati na mga turista. Ayaw ni Pangulong Duterte ng korapsyon. Ilayo niyo ang mga sarili niyo sa aksyon o persepsyon ng korapsyon (I reiterate, no opening of baggage of OFWs and tourists. President Duterte does not tolerate corruption. Avoid any actions or moves that might be perceived as corrupt,” Tugade said in a statement Wednesday.

For its part, the Office of Transportation Security (OTS) denied the allegation and said the viral post on social media was “false and inaccurate”.

“After review of the airport’s CCTV footage of the event, it was revealed that two Korean nationals, a male and a female, were rushing towards the escalator, while a female OTS Security Screening Officer can be seen picking an item that appeared to be left behind at the X-ray conveyor belt. The latter subsequently held the item in the air in an apparent attempt to call the attention of its owner. The male Korean passenger eventually claimed the item from the screening officer,” the OTS said.

The CCTV footage by the Clark International Airport Corporation likewise showed that there was no indication of misconduct, ill-intent, or malice on the part of the Security Screening Officer.

OTS Administrator Arturo Evangelista stressed that the security of the riding public is the agency’s priority concern and urged the public not to make hasty conclusions on such incidents.

The Bureau of Customs has also denied the extortion claims of the female Korean passenger.

Last January, Tugade summoned airport officials, airport ground handling companies, manpower service providers, and security managers following a meeting with President Duterte.

The transportation chief bared new guidelines for baggage handlers: personnel uniforms must not have pockets, boots or shoes must not be loose, concerned personnel are no longer allowed to bring or use cell phones while on duty, and are not likewise allowed to wear jewelry. (PNA)

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THE FILIPINO TIMES is the biggest and most trusted Filipino newspaper in the UAE.

It has a print run of 60,000 copies and 250,000 readership per week; bolstered by 1 million visitors to its website every month. It also has an e-newsletter sent to its 250,000 subscribers every day.

The Filipino Times is FREE and has the widest targeted circulation across the 7 emirates of the UAE.

With more than 2,500 strategic distribution spots, TFT is available where the Filipinos are - at Smart Bus Shelters, Metro Stations, restaurants, supermarkets, schools, airport lounges, Emirates and Etihad Philippine-bound flights, churches, Filipino community events and many more.

THE FILIPINO TIMES. We are where the Filipinos are.

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