Philippines Aviation Backed by the U.S.
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently affirmed its commitment to provide additional training and equipment to the Republic of the Philippines’ Office for Transportation Security (OTS).
During a courtesy visit to Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista, TSA Assistant Administrator for International Operations Gary Renfrow noted on August 1, 2023, the improved aviation security in the Philippines and assured the transport chief of continued support for capacity development efforts for airport authorities.
“I think we’re making fantastic progress in aviation security here in the Philippines. Our collaboration has been essential in this progress, and we are committed to continuing that work,” Assistant Administrator Renfrow told Secretary Bautista.
Secretary Bautista, for his part, assured the TSA that the DOT and OTS will continue to adopt the best practices in global aviation security to ensure passenger safety in airports.
“You have our commitment to ensure that we continue to adopt the best practices in the [aviation] industry. Our aviation industry now is back to pre-pandemic levels here in the Philippines, so we must ensure the safety and security of all passengers,” Secretary Bautista said, addressing Assistant Administrator Renfrow and U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission in the Philippines Heather Variava.
The transport chief likewise cited the support from the U.S. Government to beef up aviation security in the Philippines, including the security screening equipment, training initiatives for OTS personnel, posting of aviation security advisors, and sponsorship of airport observation visits to Indianapolis International Airport.
Previously, the U.S. Embassy issued a Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution travel advisory when visiting the Philippines.
Due to civil unrest, the State Department says not to travel to the Sulu Archipelago, including the southern Sulu Seau and Marawi City in Mindanao.
And reconsider travel to other areas of Mindanao due to civil unrest.
From a health perspective, the U.S. CDC included the Philippines in a Dengue Outbreak notice issued on July 25, 2023.
The CDC says dengue is a risk in many parts of Asia and the Pacific Islands, and some countries are reporting increased disease cases. Travelers to Asia and the Pacific Islands can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites and discussing dengue vaccination options with a healthcare provider.