Office for Transportation Security Administration Undersecretary Ma.O Aplasca was surprised with the comment of House Speaker Congressman Martin Romualdez.
“I have done nothing wrong but to cleanse our office with corrupt officials. Why am I now being attacked? For going after corrupt officials? I think it should be the other way around. The corrupt officials should instead be asked to resign.
"The case involving stealing of the $300 bills is still being resolved. Mauna pa mawala yung mga nag-imbistiga. There must be something wrong somewhere,” said Aplasca.
As of today, during the term of Aplasca, the OTS has investigated 68 administrative cases for violation of various disciplinary and administrative policies. From these cases, 11 personnel have already been dismissed.
It was determined during the strategic planning last year that the problem of OTS is systemic and cultural, which calls for both short-term and long-term initiatives.
When Aplasca joined OTS in July 2022, its personnel were not receiving salaries for two to three months and he was able to solve it.
Also, he discovered anomalies in the recruitment where applicants were asked to shell out P20,000 each to get accepted. These were exposed by Senator Raffy Tulfo.
Aplasca corrected this dysfunction and dismissed those who were responsible. He also uncovered irregularity in the promotion and placement and removed personnel in the administrative division profiting from the scheme.
Training programs in the OTS were enhanced, covering values formation and moral recovery programs. Reward and punishment system was enforced and implemented to recognize exemplary conduct of honest and hard working personnel.
As of today, the OTS have recognized at least 115 honest personnel for returning left behind properties and money ranging from few hundreds of pesos to millions.
On February 22 this year, an OTS personnel returned P200,000 left by a passenger. On March 29, another honest OTS personnel returned P365,000 cash, and on June 10, 2023, $15,000 or equivalent to P840,000 was returned to the passenger.
There were also reported incidents where our personnel returned other valuable items such as laptops, mobile phones, jewelry and important documents left by passengers at the security screening checkpoint.
"For long-term initiatives," Aplasca said, "we have proposed bills in Congress and the Senate like the passage of a law creating OTS as a more stable organization."
They have also requested for enhancement of salary grade of personnel that is now being deliberated in the Department of Budget and Management as a priority initiative.
Aplasca reiterated that emphasis is given "to our Enhanced Internal Cleansing Program, which has 3 dimensions: preventive, restorative and punitive.
“As a leader, I am taking full responsibility for what OTS does and fails to do. I will discuss this matter with (Transportation) Secretary Bautista and the President. However, I will not allow anyone to humiliate me and allow any wrong information to thrive because of how unjust it is to the good men and women of OTS who tirelessly dedicate their hard work to serve the public everyday," the OTS head said.
Aplasca added, "And, I stand against this public humiliation for the sake of my family who, in my more than 40 years serving this country, is hurting now more than ever over such insensitive, malicious and personal attacks.”
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