By Vittorio Hernandez

Paranaque, Metro Manila, Philippines

The Manila International Airport Authority, which operates the Philippines' international gateway, is looking for body scanners to enhance the airport's security systems.

However, the company is searching for x-ray machines that would not show the human body outline because of the conservative nature of many Filipino travelers when it comes to the issue.

Vicente Guerzon Jr., assistant general manager for security and emergency services of the authority, said that if they find such a body scanner, they will install it at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport by the end of the year.

Aside from addressing the privacy concern, the authority wants to ensure that the body scanners it would buy for about $184,500 to 345,900 (PHP 8 to 15 million) would address health issues over the possibility of excessive passenger exposure to radiation.

MIAA is consulting the planned purchase with the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, which faced similar problems over the body scanner's intrusion of privacy and possible health hazards.

The purchase of a body scanner would help modernize the Ninoy Aquino Airport, which a travel website recently ranked as one of the worst airports in the continent and the world for 2010.

The portal, The Guide to Sleeping in Airports, named Manila's Terminal 1 as the worst place to sleep in Asia, followed by the airports in New Delhi, Beijing, Bombay and Islamabad.

The bottom ranking of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport - named after the father of incumbent Philippine President Benigno Aquino III - was based on online readers' comments that the gateway have filthy toilets and that bribery and corrupt practices are rampant among its personnel.


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World - Philippine Airport Operator Looks for Body Scanners | Global Viewpoint