By Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City – Stringent measures are being implemented at the Bacolod-Silay Airport (BSA) in Silay City, Negros Occidental.
This, after the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) raised the security level to heightened alert in all 42 commercial airports in the country due to a bomb threat.
Major Deejay Domingo, chief of the BSA Police Station of the PNP Aviation Security Group, said the situation at the airport is now normal.
However, he noted that they have tightened the security in the airport to prevent untoward incidents and to ensure the safety of the travelers.
Domingo said they are continuously monitoring, conducting random patrolling and checking of airport terminals, and intensifying their perimeter security.
He also said that airport guards are being reminded to properly check passengers coming in and out of the airport.
“Medyo mahaba lang ng konti (security protocols) pero mas okay na iyon para safe ang mga kababayan na gumagamit ng paliparan,” he added.
Last July, an alleged bomb threat from an airdrop of a cellular phone was reported at the BSA, which caused a delay on a Cebu Pacific flight bound for Manila from Bacolod City.
Domingo appealed to the public to never joke about bomb threats, as this would hamper the operations of the airport and affect the travelers and the staff.
“Humihingi kami ng pakiusap, gumawa lang po tayo ng tama at sumunod po sa rules and regulations ng airport. Iwasan po ang magbiro ng bomb threat dahil nakakaabala po ito sa ating paliparan. Bawal po ito kahit saan man,” he said.
He said that those caught violating PD No. 1727, the Anti-Bomb Joke law, might be fined and face imprisonment.
BSA Manager Roel Aranzado stressed that intelligence reports from the PNP Aviation Security Group did not find any real-time threat to BSA.
But he said they are putting all security units on heightened alert in compliance with the CAAP directive, such as increasing the number of security personnel in critical areas.
Last month, CAAP Director General Captain Manuel Antonio Tamayo, conducted a comprehensive inspection of BSA, aimed at ensuring that the airport maintains the highest standards of maintenance and operational excellence.
Tamayo assessed the airport’s infrastructure, facilities, and overall maintenance practices.
He directed the airport staff to improve their measures in order to ensure that the airport’s equipment and facilities are safeguarded and maintained.
In coordination with the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Tamayo also committed to allocate P80 million in funds for the development of BSA in 2024, according to CAAP.