May 25, 2004  (STAR) Some P10.4 million was spent by the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) for scanning equipment against smugglers and terrorists.

MIAA general manager Edgar Manda said among the equipment they acquired were two portable detectors for bomb and illegal drugs, and four Hi-Scan and Mat and Sabre 2000 bomb detectors.

The machines were imported from Germany and manufactured by Smith Heimmenn, Manda said.

He said two portable scanners for illegal drugs and one bomb detector will be installed at the East and West Final Check-in of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1.

The three other machines will be installed at the NAIA Centennial Terminal.

Manda said that the scanners are capable of detecting illegal and non-organic objects that are conspicuously hidden inside a passenger’s luggage that cannot be detected by automated X-ray machines like the ones being used right now at the NAIA terminals. – Sandy Araneta

MMDA seeking help of LGUs in anti-flood operations The Philippine Star 05/25/2004

Although it has cleared 95 percent of the major waterways in the metropolis, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is still calling on all local government units (LGUs) to step up their anti-flood operations.

MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando said the desalting and removing of garbage from rivers, creeks and canals in the past year would all be for naught if residents remain irresponsible in the disposal of their trash.

In a press conference yesterday, Fernando said that they have completed clearing a total of 43 kilometers of waterways since they stepped up their flood control program a year ago.

"We expect an improvement in flood control. Last year, we reduced the flood problem by 50 percent. This time, we hope to reduce it by another 25 percent. We are continuously monitoring the situation. So far there have been no real heavy rains yet so we still cannot make an assessment," the MMDA chief said.

The MMDA recently concentrated their operations at the University Belt in Manila, including España, Dimasalang and areas where there are illegal settlers living near creeks.

He said it is the task of concerned LGUs to relocate these families.

The Metro Mayors’ Council (MMC) earlier approved a door-to-door garbage collection scheme, requiring garbage collectors to pick up the trash from every household.

Only half of the 17 cities and municipalities complied with the policy.

Fernando said, however, that no sanctions can be slapped against erring operators and LGUs that continue to defy the MMC ordinance.

"Actually, a survey conducted at the MMDA revealed the sentiment of the people during the polls. We knew who would win. Those who lost were not chosen by their constituents probably because they failed to clean their city," he said. – Evelyn Macairan

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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