No leave for BI port personnel during Xmas 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.

Beginning last Nov. 15, Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers assigned to different international ports are prohibited to go on leave from their work.

This is to ensure that adequate manpower is available to serve the
traveling public during the Christmas season.

In a statement, Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco said the ban on vacation leaves from Nov. 15 to Jan. 15 was implemented to ensure the uninterrupted delivery of services by the
BI to international travelers who are expected to enter and exit the country in large numbers
before, during, and after the Christmas break.

Tansingco disclosed that passenger volumes at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) have already started to peak up not only due to the approaching holiday season but in view of the gradual easing of restrictions imposed on foreign and Filipino travelers during the pandemic.

He said the ban on leave by BI port personnel aims to avert long queues at the airports during the Holiday season when there is always a significant increase in passengers who enter and exit our country.

“This is always the season when the services of our immigration officers are most needed in the
airports. This is a sacrifice we have to make to serve the traveling public,” the BI chief added.
Atty. Carlos Capulong, BI acting ports operations chief said the leave ban applies to all BI employees assigned not only at the NAIA but also in the other international ports such as those in Mactan, Clark, Davao, and Kalibo.

Except for medical and emergency reasons, no application for leave by any BI port personnel will be entertained or approved while the two-month leave ban is in effect, Capulong said.

He also bared that aside from BI officers assigned to the airport’s immigration counters, a special team of BI officers is always on standby to augment and assist in processing arriving and departing passengers.