March 23, 2016
MANILA, Philippines – In response to the bombing incidents in Belgium yesterday, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) today assured the public that all concerned government agencies are working together to ensure continued safety of travel.
“We assure the public that the government is taking all the necessary measures to secure our airports, other transport facilities, and most especially our people, as they travel during this peak season and beyond,” said DOTC Secretary Jun Abaya.
“All concerned entities — from government and private sector alike — are ready to address any possible situation,” he added.
As instructed by President Aquino, the DOTC directed transport agencies and their security groups to be extra vigilant and further intensify security measures in additions to preparations made for the annual observance of Holy Week.
Abaya said terminals and stations have been placed on heighted alert status.
He said other courses of action in order to bolster the security and safety of the public include implementation of checkpoint monitoring outside these transport facilities and increasing visibility of uniformed personnel.
“For the time being, we have no reason to fear similar events taking place in the country,” Abaya said.
“We are merely taking precautionary steps and activating quick-response protocols in case any emergencies arise,” he added.
Latest reports said death toll in Islamic State bombings in Brussels, Belgium on Tuesday morning has already reached 31 and around 260 were injured.
Eleven were killed in Zaventem airport attack and 20 at Maelbeek metro station blast.
Two of the suspected attackers – captured on a CCTV camera – dressed in black were named as brothers Khalid and Ibrahim El-Bakraoui, who likely committed suicide attacks.
Officials said the two also wore black gloves on their left hands thought to have concealed detonators.
Belgian police already launched a series of raids in a manhunt for the third man, who is thought to have escaped following the attacks.
He was identified as Najim Laachraoui.
Belgium is observing three days of national mourning.
The Islamic State that earlier admitted to be behind the bombings has warned that more attacks will follow.