BI assures public of unhampered service during holiday season

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Nagbabala ang Bureau of Immigration laban sa mga fixer na umanoy namemeke ng mga dokumento kasunod ng pagkakaharang sa isang Amerikano at 36 Indonesians na nagpakita ng mga pekeng dokumento na kinakailangan para maging legal ang pananatili nila sa bansa.

MANILA, Philippines—Bureau of Immigration has
assured the general public of unhampered service in all ports for arriving and departing passengers this
holiday season.

BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco said they have  implemented several measures to maximize the BI’s
manpower during the peak season.

“Historically, during Christmas and New Year, the number of travelers significantly
increase worldwide,” Tansingco said in a statement.

“Hence we are making sure that we are fully manned and
ready to service the traveling public.”

He made the assurance after a photo of long immigration lines at the Ninoy Aquino
International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 was posted by a media outlet last November 12.

Meanwhile, BI Port Operations Division Chief Atty. Carlos Capulong clarified that during said incident,
the long queue was caused by the simultaneous arrival of 11 flights, bringing the total number of
passengers to more than 2,000.

“Processing that much passengers within a short period of time, coupled with the limited
area for passengers is really bound to cause a queue,” said Capulong. “However, we make sure
that we process them as efficiently as possible, and the lines were finished immediately.”

Capulong shared that 14 primary inspection officers were augmented by immigration
officers from their rapid response team, which they activate as needed.

He also said that the five
electronic gates located in NAIA 3 are all fully operational, lessening processing time to as much
as 8 seconds per person.

“Airport personnel will also be prohibited to go on leave during the peak season to ensure
adequate manpower,” said Capulong.

The BI has more than 140 counters at the arrival and departure areas of the NAIA, with
several lanes prioritizing Filipinos and OFWs.

Tansingco said that the BI remains committted to “ensure that we deliver the best service especially during the
holiday season.

The BI chief highlighted that their processes at the NAIA are ISO-certified, proving that they are at par with international standards.
“We aim to further improve
our services in the next few years, to make things faster and easier for travelers as we welcome
tourists again to our shores,” he added.

The BI also reported that 55 more immigration officers are currently training in the
Philippine Immigration Academy, to be assigned to the airports and other BI offices upon
graduation.