Why NAIA has security checks that include shoe inspections

October 1, 2018 - 9:13 PM
Congressman Aniceto Bertiz is under fire for refusing to subject himself to an airport security protocol that involved removing his shoes in the final stage. (The STAR/Boy Santos)

Congressman Aniceto “John” Bertiz III apologized for refusing to remove his shoes as part of an airport security protocol in NAIA Terminal 2, recalling a rule on shoe inspection that was modified in 2012.

A video of Bertiz became the topic of social media when he refused to comply with a security protocol and told off the airport personnel who was on duty that time.

He was supposed to remove his shoes as part of the final inspection but he walked through the metal detector without compliance. When the security personnel called him out, the congressman showed his own ID.

Meanwhile, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos in the video removed her shoes and complied with the airport security protocol.

Bertiz’s non-compliance outraged social media users, who recalled that the ACTS-OFW representative was also tagged in the PRC license controversy and a shouting match with an overseas Filipino worker in Hong Kong.

NAIA’s rules on shoe inspection 

NAIA had previously announced that they would no longer require airline passengers to remove their shoes upon inspection. However, it was only implemented under normal security condition levels.

According to Manila International Airport Authority general manager Jose Angel Honrado, passengers would only be required to remove their shoes if the metal detector rings or if the security personnel asks them so.

“Beginning November 1, 2012, shoe inspections at the final security checkpoints in the departure areas of all NAIA terminals shall no longer be mandatory under normal alert conditions,” Honrado said in a statement.

It was done to speed up the general departure process and to “improve frontline services in airports and seaports.”

Passengers inside NAIA terminal. (Philstar/File photo)

Passengers bound for the United States were not exempted from the rule as the US Department of Homeland Security requires shoe inspection to be done in boarding areas.

Honrado added that passengers should remove their shoes if the airport is under a high-level security condition.

In Bertiz’s case, however, the airport was under security condition level two. Under that protocol, passengers are supposed to undergo a shoe inspection in the last stage of the security check.

There are three levels of a security condition in an airport. The highest level is raised under the possibility of terrorist attacks.

Office for Transportation Security Administrator Undersecretary Arturo Evangelista shared that everyone goes through the protocol.

“Lahat naman ng pasahero talagang dumadaan diyan. In our country, the only one exempted is the President. From VP down, hindi exempted diyan sa screening na ‘yan. That is embodied sa international law,” he said.

Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Representative Danilo Suarez shared that Bertiz might be investigated following the recent incidents he has been involved with.

“There may be a possibility that we may have to take this up to the ethics committee,” he said.