Office for Transportation Security

Transportation Security, Shared Responsibility

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OTS Rebuts Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Claim on Missing Security Screening Equipment

The security screening equipment in question, particularly the Passive Millimeter Wave Scanners (PMWS) and the Bottled Liquid Scanners (BLS), were procured by the agency in 2014 and early 2015 respectively, to address technology gaps versus emerging threats to aviation security.

The PMWS were procured in response to an attempt by an international terrorist to detonate explosives in his underwear on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit. The PMWS are very effective in detecting metallic and nonmetallic threats, including weapons, explosives and other objects, concealed under layers of a person’s clothing, without having the target compromise his/her privacy, remove his/her clothing, or without physical contact thus avoiding the intrusive aspect of frisking that some people find degrading.
On the other hand, the BLS was in response to the earlier liquid explosive bomb plot in the United Kingdom, disguised by terrorists as alcoholic beverages, perfumes or other seemingly innocent containers. BLS enables rapid analysis of liquid containers, thereby accelerating airport security checks, improving passenger service, while increasing the probability of detection and efficiency of security measures. These equipment, having been included in the United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Qualified Technologies List, have undergone a formal TSA sponsored test process and are deemed qualified for screening operations.
Contrary to the report of Ms Andrade, these equipment have been deployed at the airports since 2015 in time for the influx of foreign delegates and dignitaries during APEC Summit.

OTS Spokesperson Jonathan Maliwat said that Major airport hubs having international flights were the priority airports to have these equipment. Among those airports were the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Mactan-Cebu International Airport and Ilo-Ilo International Airport.
“Primarily, we intend to put some of these equipment at NAIA, being the primary gateway, but the Manila International Airport Authority has also initiated to boost the security of NAIA terminals through procurement of fourteen (14) sets of full body scanner to complement other existing equipment, that is why we have to relocate these equipment to other international airports to enhance its security screening capability.” Maliwat said.
Republic of the Philippines
He added, “Four (4) sets of PMWS and two (2) sets of Bottled Liquid Scanner were indeed received by the Mactan-Cebu International Airport while the other four (4) sets of PMWS and three (3) sets of Bottled Liquid Scanners were received by Ilo-Ilo International Airport. These were deployed prior to the APEC Summit in 2015 to ensure maximum security of the delegates and other airport users during the event. This is in contrary to the report recently released by the Philippine Daily Inquirer particularly by Ms. Jeannette Andrade, that these were missing.”
One (1) set of Bottled Liquid Scanner is being used by the OTS as a training aid for conducting training for Security Screening Officers performing security duties at the airport. While the other two (2) sets of this portable equipment are deployed during special events when there is projected influx of passengers.
The OTS maintains that these equipment are being maximized to ensure full security at Philippine airports.
Press Release # 2016-002


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OTS Statement on the Alleged Bullet Planting Incident at NAIA Terminal 1

On the basis of the Memorandum of Understanding on Passenger Facilitation and Security Screening signed last 26 February 2016 between and among the Office for Transportation Security (OTS), the Philippine National Police Aviation Security Group (AVSEGROUP), and other airport authorities, the conduct of airport screening is presently being implemented.


Since September 2015, the “NO TOUCH POLICY” on screening of passengers’ baggage has also been implemented. Under this policy, the passenger is the one conducting the inspection of their belongings while visually being supervised or witnessed by the Security Screening Officer on duty. At the same time, law enforcement authorities and airline representatives are required to be present to witness the inspection. Detected prohibited items violative of our penal law is turned over to law enforcement officers (LEO) for proper disposition.


On 19 April 2016, a 75 year-old passenger, identified as Mrs. Salvacion Cortabista, was intercepted at the Final Security Screening Checkpoint of Terminal 1 in Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), in possession of a prohibited item resembling a bullet which was discovered inside the pocket of her hand-carried bag. The passenger, however, denied owning said prohibited item.  OTS immediately conducted a separate investigation on the matter and reviewed CCTV footages from the time Mrs. Cortabista entered the terminal until she has undergone the final check. As of the time of publication, investigation to look for evidences that would uncover every detail of the incident is still on-going. OTS is however, looking at the extortion allegation as the root cause of the incident.


OTS would like to ensure the public that it will fully cooperate with law enforcement authorities to immediately bring out the truth on the incident.


Press Release # 2016-001



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OTS Firm on Terminating Undeserving Personnel

Termination of contract, dismissal from the government service and issuance of suspension order are just some of the actions taken by the Office for Transportation Security (OTS) under the leadership of Undersecretary Roland S. Recomono in ensuring that only deserving personnel will continue serving the institution in providing and maintaining a safe and secured transportation system.

Based from the record, beginning 2012 up to 2014, there were fifty nine (59) personnel who were dismissed from service due to various administrative cases while eleven (11) personnel were suspended. This includes cases of violation of the OTS “NO Tipping Policy”.

And for 2015, we have already dismissed nine (9) personnel and have suspended eight (8) others with forfeiture of benefits. Some of which were rooted from administrative complaints filed against OTS personnel, absenteeism, acts of lasciviousness, having found guilty of the offense of gross neglect of duty, grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. There are also cases where personnel were dismissed from the service due to incompetency, inefficiency and dishonesty leading to a final resolution of being dropped from the roll of public servants, approved by the Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications. These cases were basically taken from RA 6713 Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees particularly on the Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service (RRACS).

For this administration a total of sixty eight (68) personnel were dismissed while nineteen (19) has been issued suspension order. Said personnel were occupying various positions such as permanent, contractual and job order.

“If an OTS employee is found guilty of any offense contrary to the law or rules as stipulated in the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards, there will be no second thoughts in terms of their dismissal from the government service. It is basically a reward and punishment system”

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Left-Behind Items at NAIA Terminal 4 Returned

Security Screening Officer (SSO) Ruben Solis who is detailed at the Final Security Screening Checkpoint, turned over a blue sling bag containing one (1) Canon DSLR camera, external hard disk and money amounting to Forty Thousand Nine Hundred pesos (P40,900) to the lost and found at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 4, morning of 22 September 2015. These items were returned to the Mr. Eduardo Omega, a passenger of Cebu Pacific Flight 5J 895.

Meanwhile, another reported event of exemplifying honesty was made by SSO Marvin Labalan whose place of assignment is at the Final Security Screening Checkpoint of the NAIA Terminal 4. Twice in a row that he was able to return left-behind items. On 26 September 2015, he was able to return an iPhone 6 to the lost and found and was retrieved by its rightful owner, Mr. Eman Nino Peralta, passenger of Air Asia flight Z2 711.

And during his duty on 30 September 2015, Ms. Shelly Marie Ordonez left her iPhone 5s at the Final Security Screening Checkpoint which prompted the SSO to turn over the item at the lost and found counter.

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OTS Strategic Shift backed by a Communication Strategy Model

Pasay City – The strategic shift that the Office for Transportation Security (OTS) undertakes comes with a committed and unfaltering service to the public through effective information dissemination. Through the Public Affairs Division, a Strategic Communication (StratCom) Plan was crafted to develop disparate information sharing thus provide a more streamlined communication process.

Alongside this transition is a three-year plan designed to understand the urgency in responding to the growing need for a well-established communication strategies to effectively carry out  programs in parallel to the agency’s strategic direction. In consistency with OTS’s mandate, this StratCom Plan revolves around two (2) main objectives:

  1. To gain full understanding and cooperation from the stakeholders to maintain a clear and well understood oversight and regulatory program
  1. To generate support and confidence from the public, other government agencies and international organizations

This paradigm of a contemporary strategical shift stretches for both internal and external stakeholders by which two communication key elements may be known: OTS Strategic Plan 2030, which signifies a long term plan towards being internationally recognized as the authority responsible for the transportation security of the country having regulatory and oversight capacity; and the OTS Core messages: “Transportation Security, Shared Responsibility” and a unified body pronounced as “One OTS”.

This plan shall promote consultative engagement and cooperative enforcement that is coherent to the core functions of the agency namely: Policy Development, Regulation Compliance, Risk Management and Training Standards Management.


On a linear manner, it shall measure the attainability of the policies and programs crafted by OTS, through obtaining public feedback which considerably is an important aspect to properly address concerns as part of the development process.

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OTS Releases New List of Prohibited Items

Pasay City – The Office for Transportation Security (OTS) releases a new list of prohibited items in congruence to international standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

The primary objective of the said step is to develop the pre-existing list of items prohibited on Philippine airports to counter emerging threats to civil aviation brought about by introduction of new items capable of being used to destabilize aircrafts and innovative ways of artfully concealing weapons devised by unlawful elements. It also intends to establish a standardized security screening operations at all airports in the country.

A comprehensive study has been made to ensure that all items included in the list would not be used to commit any acts of unlawful interference against the civil aviation. Accordingly, through appropriate legislations such as Annex 17 of the ICAO also known as Chicago convention where our National Civil Aviation Security Program has been anchored with and Republic Act 6235 or the Anti-Hijacking Law of the Philippines, the OTS has added essential items and increases the standard level to commensurate with threats posed by the introduction of these new items.

The Official Prohibited Items List is posted on the OTS website ( ) and will be followed by an informational campaign to facilitate proper implementation of the new policy.

Press Release # 2015-003

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OTS to Introduce EMA to the Riding Public

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PASAY, Philippines – The Office for Transportation Security is introducing EMA-3 as its newest innovation in terms of security screening. EMA stands for ElectroMagnetic Analyzer also known as “Bottled Liquid Scanner”. It is designed to check and screen sealed bottles carried by people in transit through Security Checkpoints in order to verify whether the characteristics of the liquid meet the requirements for items that can be brought inside the aircraft. The content of the bottle having a volume capacity from 100mL to 2000mL is analyzed without the need to open the container as the detection of dangerous substances is effected using non-ionizing electromagnetic fields. In case of open containers such as cups and thermos, it will be screened through an optional external probe using disposable small plastic cups.

EMA-3 inspects wide range of bottles with different capacity to be analyzed. (E.g. Clear or colored, plastic or glass as used in wines and champagne bottles for instance.) These materials are permeable to the used energy by the sensors.

A total of eight (8) Brand New sets of EMA-3 or Bottle Liquid Scanners are initially procured by OTS. These sets of Security Screening Equipment will be deployed on various airport screening checkpoints nationwide.

The winning bid was awarded to the Defense and Protection Systems Phils Inc. amounting to a total of P19.2M for the 8 sets of Bottled Liquid Scanners.