Airport Baggage Handlers Ordered to Wear Bodycams


MIASCOR Contract Terminated

Airplane baggage loaders and cleaners are now required to wear bodycams (body cameras) on their persons whenever they work inside the aircraft. This was the directive released by airport general manager Ed Monreal to all airport ground handling service providers in an effort to put a stop on the pilferage of bags at the premiere airport.

The airport chief explained that personnel who handle the passenger’s bags are in fact not employees of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), but of accredited ground handling service providers.

Ground handling service providers are certified contractors that provide all the services an aircraft needs during the period it remains on the ground. Most airlines receive these services from a ground handling services company, which includes: ramp services; passenger services; cargo and mail services; load control, communication and flight operations services; representation and supervision services

Monreal, upon orders of Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade, instructed all the service providers to immediately supply all personnel that handles luggage to wear bodycams at all times to prevent any pilferage from happening.

The order came about after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered all aviation officials to put an immediate stop to baggage pilferage in all of the country’s airports, following a complaint from an arriving Filipino overseas worker from Canada who claimed that he lost P82,000 worth of belongings upon his arrival at the Clark International Airport recently.

Aside from the bodycams that all ground handlers have to wear while on duty, Monreal also ordered that all handlers will have to be frisked whenever they go in and out of an aircraft; that pockets on any part of their clothing will no longer be allowed; that jewelry of any sort will no longer be allowed to be worn while on duty; and that cellular phones will also not be permitted inside the work area.

Monreal added that more security cameras will be installed along the path where the luggage travels (from the check-in counters, down to the baggage built-up area, and up to the airplanes, as well as from the aircraft and up towards the baggage carrousel. The airport chief however lamented that they cannot place cameras inside the baggage holds of the airplanes as airline companies just wont allow it.

Meanwhile, the airport general manager also announced that his office has issued a non-renewal of contract for ground services of MIASCOR, after being involved in most of the pilferage cases at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

According to Monreal, out of the 26 recorded pilferage cases in 2016, MIASCOR employees were involved in 18 of them. A thorough investigation led to uncovering of several incriminating evidences against the company staff.

MIASCOR was given 60 days to wind down their operations and properly turn-over their processes to whichever ground service provider the airline chooses. Currently, MIASCOR provides ground handling services to Malaysian Airlines, ASIANA, Air Hong Kong, FEDEX, United Airlines, Jetstar Asia, Saudia Airlines, Kuwait Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Jeju Air, Qantas and Cebu Pacific Air.

Monreal however assured that the authority will not renew or approve applications of any new ground service providers as there are many capable airport service providers including DANATA, MacroAsia, ORBIT, PAGGS and Sky Logistics

With the tighter policies for the airport workers, Monreal said their aim is to make the airport “Pilferage Free,” citing that from 26 pilferage cases in 2016, it went down to seven in 2017.

“The President’s pronouncement has to be done!” Exclaimed Monreal. “He told us to put a ‘stop’ to this (pilferage). Kapag hindi magagawa, ako na mismo ang aalis!” the airport chief added.

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