The Office for Transportation Security is strictly implementing its shoe removal policy at all airports nationwide to “enhance the overall security” of passengers and staff.
The OTS announced the news in a statement posted on Facebook on Monday, July 17. "Requiring passengers to remove footwear at the final screening checkpoint provides an advanced layer of scrutiny while identifying potential security threats," it said.
While the OTS acknowledged that the practice could bring an inconvenience to the passengers, it stressed that strictly doing so will improve their airport experience as a whole.
“We recognize the strict implementation of this policy may cause inconvenience to the passengers. However, we are requesting for their patience and cooperation so we can achieve what we are ought to do, securing the global transportation system with our international counterparts,” it wrote, noting that the OTS Security Screening Officers have been asked to give clear instructions throughout the process to ensure minimal disruption.
OTS Administrator Undersecretary Ma.O Aplasca clarified that the rule has been a “long-standing practice” that needed to be strictly implemented as it has been proven effective in detecting any harmful objects and/or dangerous materials like explosives that may be hidden in footwear.
“This shall be the norm regardless of the security condition level, and even when the threat is low,” he said.
“We have to be proactive, hindi na natin dapat hintayin na magkaroon pa ng threat before we implement it,” he added.
For easy compliance, the OTS advises passengers to wear easily removable shoes and not those with “complex lacing or buckling” to speed up the process.
“Moreover, the OTS reminds everyone to adhere to the current rules and regulations regarding the transportation of liquids, electronics, and other items,” it said.