President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to acquire more X-ray machines for airports in the country to be used for emergency and heightened security situations.
Duterte released the order upon discovering that X-ray machines at Tuguegarao Airport are not working due to Typhoon Ompong which hit the Northern and Central part of the country last week, reported TechnoChops.
In response to the incident, DOTr secretary Arthur Tugade said that they might resort to manual checking of passenger baggages due to the broken X-ray machines.
Duterte, however, stressed that doing so would not only put public security in danger but would also delay the operations at the airport. Instead, the president suggested that the transportation department should have at least three to four extra X-ray machines specifically for emergency situations such as natural disasters.
“There’s really a problem with X-ray because – well, it’s being used every day all over the country and most of the airports have that and that is a very critical component for security,” Duterte said.
The extra X-ray machines, Duterte said, must be available for all airports in the country.
However, Tugade said that DOTr might not be able to acquire the ordered X-ray machines soon due to the long process of production of the machines. Tugade, for his part, assured Duterte that his orders were noted.
Currently, damages in the Cagayan province due to Typhoon Ompong is estimated at Php8 billion with the agricultural sector being affected the most. Around 46,000 people were affected by the storm in the province.