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Manila's new plan to keep terrorists out

Updated On: Apr 12, 2005

Manila - An advanced passenger-information system that will enable the authorities to receive data on inbound travellers will form part of a revamped border-control system to boost the Philippines’ capability to thwart the entry of foreign terrorists and undesirable foreigners.

    The project is part of a package of anti-terrorist measures being planned under the auspices of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) forum in coordination with the Australian government, said Philippine Immigration Commissioner Alipio Fernandez Jr on April 7.  
    “This project will not only enhance our fight against terrorism but also usher in regional economic growth and development,”  Mr Fernandez said.  
    Mr Gary Mendoza, the Bureau of Immigration’s regulation division chief, said the data on inbound travellers would help forewarn the government about the entry of foreigners with questionable background and bar them from even boarding their flight. 
    “A passenger from Indonesia about to board a flight bound for Manila would be automatically barred from boarding his plane by immigration authorities at the airport in Jakarta,” said Mr Men­doza.  
    This is made possible through the establishment of a regional database and advanced passenger-information system that list suspected or known international terrorists. The database will also include other foreigners involved in transnational crimes such as drug trafficking and human smuggling.

* BI revising border-control system to keep terrorists out  (The Manila Times, April 8)