THE Department of Transportation (DOTr) has clarified what items are exempt from the liquid ban it has imposed on the Metro Rail Transit-3 (MRT3), allowing some liquid products provided these have clearances from security officers and police assigned at the train stations.
These are: baby formula and breast milk in bottles, if the passenger is traveling 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 a disability or life 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, prosthetic 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.
In a Viber message sent to reporters on Friday, DOTr Assistant Secretary Goddes Hope O. Libiran said that lotions and perfumes in quantities less than 100 milliliters (ml) will be allowed but passengers would have to apply these on their skin to show that these are not threats to other passengers.
“Less than 100 mL pwede. May instances na ipapa-try sa ’yo ’yung perfume or lotion to make sure na lotion or perfume talaga iyon (Liquids less than 100 mL would be allowed. There are instances you would have to put them on to make sure these are real lotions or perfumes),” Ms. Libiran said.
“If [the item is] very bulky talaga, security might ask you to leave it provided that you leave your name so you can claim it back when you go home,” Ms. Libiran said.
Passengers have been complaining about the liquid ban as they have been forced to leave their drinking water or juices, perfumes and lotions behind when taking the train due to the strict implementation of the rule, which was imposed following the bombings in Jolo.
The DOTr explained that a liquid bomb is made up of nitroglycerin and, while it can be turned into solid explosives such as dynamite, while in liquid form it is still dangerous and volatile.
“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 to carry around,” the DOTr said.
The DOTr said that items confiscated in the past few days by MRT-3 security personnel will be returned to passengers upon proper verification of appropriate identification to be made by the station supervisor.
“The DOTr-MRT-3 would like to express our apologies to our passengers for the confusion on the said policy,” the agency said. — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio