OTS eyes airport screeners revamp

The Office for Transportation Security announced on Friday that it will be implementing major organizational changes beginning on 20 March 2023 to enhance the line of supervision and emphasize accountability at each airport station nationwide.

OTS Administrator Undersecretary Ma. O. Aplasca stressed that the strategic organizational reform initiative will include the transfer of security screening officers from the National Capital Region to other regional airport stations in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Aplasca added that apart from personnel re-assignment, the OTS took sweeping actions to address the recent spate of theft incidents at the airport security screening checkpoint.

The OTS chief also stressed that to ensure adequate supervision and the needed check and balance in security screening operations, the agency designated more responsible and capable regional chiefs, terminal chiefs, shift supervisors and checkpoint supervisors who shall oversee and supervise the daily operations at the airport.

Apart from this, the OTS similarly initiated the deployment of eight National Aviation Security Auditors at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to regularly conduct audits and inspections to ensure the sustained implementation of security measures. This effort shall be replicated in all other airports nationwide.

“Since the assumption of the present administration, there have been drastic measures implemented centered on a three-pronged approach — preventive, corrective and punitive approaches,” Aplasca said.

The OTS chief added that from 10 March last year up until 10 March 2023, there were a total of 61 personnel sanctioned and of the total, 18 were dismissed, 26 were reprimanded, three were suspended, and 14 were submitted to our legal department for review.

These were for various infractions committed, ranging from violations of the OTS No Tipping Policy, improper disposal of security prohibited items confiscated at the security screening checkpoint, involvement in theft and extortion, facilitation, and failure to turn over left-behind items.

Meanwhile, six personnel identified as being involved in the case of Enhyphen were reprimanded for violations of the OTS Standard Operating Procedures.

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