PHILIPPINES- AUSTRALIA WORKSHOPS BOOSTS TRANSPORT SECURITY IN THE PHILIPPINES
The Philippine Government, with Australian support, held a workshop last week (7-8 June) to formulate a strategic response to potential security threats against the country’s land, rail, aviation and maritime transportation systems.
The workshop, spearheaded by the Philippine Department of Transportation and Communications’ Office for Transportation Security (DOTC-OTS), was the first step in the development of integrated and multi-agency contingency plans that seek to prevent and respond holistically to attacks on Philippine transport systems.
The workshop brought together all of the key Philippine transport security agencies and built on an initial workshop on 1 and 2 June that identified the various security threats to Philippine transportation systems.
Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Tony Hely commended the Office for Transportation Security for its “vital leadership in protecting, enforcing and strengthening the Philippine transport security system”. “The various security arrangements currently in place at individual ports, airports, bus and rail terminals and on the ships, planes, buses and trains will benefit from a national threat assessment and national response strategy”, he said.
Both workshops were supported by the Australian Government under its Port Security Capacity Building Project, which is funded by the Australian Agency for International Aid (AusAID) and managed by the Department of Transport and Regional Services (DOTARS).
Australia has agreed to assist Philippine authorities develop an integrated national transport security framework that is tailored to the Philippine environment and systems. Australia has helped international ports in the Philippines to develop port security plans that meet international standards and is now expanding the program to domestic ports facilities, notably those on the ‘nautical highway’.