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By Aerol John Pateña
The Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) has clarified that some liquid items may be allowed inside its train stations amid the implementation of the ban on liquids as part of heightened security measures following recent bombing incidents in some parts of the country.
The Department of Transportation-MRT 3 (DOTr-MRT 3) said passengers may bring the following items upon validation and approval of security personnel and police officers in its stations:
- Baby formula/breast milk in bottles, if the passenger is travelling with a baby or small child;
- Drinking water to be used by the baby or small child;
- All prescription and over-the-counter medications;
- Liquids including water, juice or liquid nutrition or gels for passenger with disability or other health condition;
- Life-support and life-sustaining liquids, such as bone marrow, blood products, and transplant organs;
- Items used to augment the body and for medical and cosmetics reasons, such as mastectomy products, prosthetics breast, bras or shells containing gels, saline solution, or other liquids; and
- Gels or frozen liquids needed to cool disability or medical-related items used by persons with disabilities or medical conditions.
Items that were confiscated in the past few days by the MRT security personnel, including those previously prohibited would be returned to passengers upon proper verification through the presentation of appropriate identification by the station supervisor.
The DOTr-MRT 3 appealed for understanding among commuters on the implementation of the liquid ban. It noted that bottled drinks, water and any liquid substance can be mixed to form a liquid bomb.
“Nitroglycerin is oily and clear, so if it is poured in an opaque lotion bottle, no one would know what is inside. Because it is clear and oily, nitroglycerin would be easy to conceal in lotion or shampoo bottles. Nitroglycerin’s inherent instability would make this bottle very dangerous for you to carry around,” it added.
The DOTr is set to come up with uniform security guidelines in all railway systems, including the Philippine National Railways and Light Rail Transit stations in coordination with the Office of Transportation Security.
“We do not want to be lax on our security measures across all transport sectors so as to ensure the safety and security of our passengers,” DOTr Director for Communications, Assistant Secretary Goddes Hope Libiran said in a message to reporters.
The ban on liquid items in railway stations was implemented after the Philippine National Police placed Metro Manila on heightened alert status following the bombing incident in Jolo, Sulu.