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PIA Press Release
2006/09/29

P6-M x-ray to detect bombs at Cebu port

Cebu City (29 September) -- The P6M x-ray machine purchased by the Cebu Ports Authority (CPA) is still the best equipment to detect bombs and explosives amid questions on its incapability to scent liquid bombs and chemical spilling.

CPA deputy general manager Engr. Dennis Villamor said the x-ray machine is a 3rd generation type that is even used by some ports in the US, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Villamor however, admitted that the machine cannot detect chemical spill on sea as well as liquid explosives. He added the acquisition of the x-ray machine is not that expensive, as he has known of some agencies that bought a similar machine at a higher price.

The machine can ably detect passengers carrying bombs from neck to ankle so it would highly be impossible for anybody to successfully pass through the port, according to Villamor.

Engr. Raul Oblenda, port manager of Tagbilaran City of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) said there is no equipment that can detect liquid explosives. The best way to ascertain the presence of liquid bombs is only through manual inspection.

Maritime Industry Authority (Marina 7) regional director Atty. Glenn Cabaņes on the other hand, disclosed that the issue on port security is a collective effort. Shipping companies are duty bound to protect their passengers while onboard while security within the port premises is the responsibility of the port authorities.

Oblenda stated that every port in the country is required to submit a port security plan. An ocular inspection is conducted to determine whether the security measures in place are appropriate as the security plan depends on the level of risks per port. The plan is made in consultation with the port advisory council composed of government agencies and shipping lines, this was bared.

As the 12th Asean Summit draws near, the PNP Maritime and the Philippine Coast Guard are enhancing the security of the port as members of the sub-committee on security.

The country is celebrating the National Maritime Week from September 24-30 while today marks the International Martime Day. (PIA-Cebu/FCR) [top]

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