ABOUT P67-million worth of security screening equipment procured by the Office for Transportation Security (OTS) for the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and other airports around the country last year appears to have disappeared.
In 2015, the OTS—a Department of Transportation and Communications-attached agency—bought eight full-body scanners for P48 million and eight electromagnetic analyzers (EMA) or bottled liquid scanners for P19.2 million from Singapore.
The state of the art equipment were to beef up security at the NAIA terminals and the Mactan-Cebu and Davao international airports but not one of the screening machines was installed.
The old full body scanners currently at the NAIA—which are reportedly hardly used—were bought earlier by the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) from Germany.
In February last year, the OTS bought eight full body scanners at a cost of P6 million each.
A source, who sought anonymity for lack of authority to speak, told the Inquirer the scanners were not installed at the NAIA because they were “lemons.”
A MIAA official, when asked about the matter by the Inquirer said: “You should ask the OTS where they stowed them away.”
The OTS claimed the scanners were distributed to airports around the country.
DOTC-OTS spokesperson Jonathan Maliwat earlier said the body scanners were delivered to the international airports at Clark, Laoag, Kalibo, Iloilo and Mactan-Cebu.
But Kalibo and Mactan-Cebu airport officials said they never received the scanners.
The DOTC-OTS had also announced in March last year it would install P19.2-million worth of EMA or bottled liquid scanners at Naia and other airports.
Several OTS personnel, however, said they had yet to lay their eyes on the high-tech scanners.
“Some of us were trained to use them (EMA). But we haven’t seen any of them here,” an OTS security screening officer at NAIA Terminal 1 told the Inquirer.
The Inquirer learned that none of the liquid analyzers were installed at the NAIA terminals, although Maliwat had claimed they were to be set up at the terminals’ checkpoints.
The Inquirer tried to question OTS officials about what happened to the multimillion-peso screening equipment but they either denied knowledge of them or refused to answer questions.
Source: Jeannette Andrade, http://newsinfo.inquirer.net