Gift-wrapped items not spared in train inspections

As the holiday season approaches, Metro Manila train authorities remind commuters to bear with security inspection policies, including opening of gift-wrapped packages.

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Even gifts wrapped using "expensive-looking" wrappers will have to be opened upon entry into train stations of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) or the Metro Rail Transit (MRT).

"Hindi po exempted sa security inspection ang dalang pang-regalo kahit na po mamahalin or magarbo ang balot nito. Pasensya na po (Gifts are not exempted from inspection even if they use expensive or lavish wrappers. Please bear with us)," LRT Authority spokesperson Hernando Cabrera said via Twitter Wednesday.

Bags are also not exempted from inspections even if the passengers carrying them are "sharply dressed in barongs or uniforms," he added.

The same policy will apply to MRT commuters, with the train's Public Relations Office noting that commuters' safety is of paramount importance.

Passengers must be reminded that the inspections are "for their own good," the PRO told Yahoo! Southeast Asia.

The two train systems also apply a size limit of 2 feet by 2 feet for boxes, bags and other items that will be brought into the trains.

Cabrera meanwhile clarified that sticks used by security guards during inspections are not "detectors" but are only used to provide a better look into bags and other containers.

"Marami po kasi nag rereklamo na pasahero kapag kinakamay ng guard ang pang halukay sa bag, kaya po gumagamit sila ng stick (Many passengers complain when guards use their hands to check their bags' contents, so they use sticks instead," Cabrera said.

Related story: #Amalayer girl finds ally

While urging public cooperation, Cabrera noted that security guards have been instructed to refrain from making side comments or using improper facial expressions and gestures to avoid provoking the ire of passengers.

This, after a video showing an encounter between an LRT lady guard and a passenger who claimed that she had been inappropriately treated spread through social networks and attracted mixed reactions.

Related story: Dangerous gifts for kids?

Cabrera meanwhile jokingly shared a "favorite side comment" used by lady guards against male pasengers attempting to ride coaches alloted only for women: "Sir pwede kang sumakay dito kung nakapagpa sex transplant ka na (You can take this coach only after sex transplant)."

Guards stationed at entrance gates meanwhile usually say: "Arte, mag-jeep na lang kaya siya (She should have taken the jeepney if she has so many complaints)."

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