Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente pulled out 58 Immigration officers assigned in field offices and deployed them to the airports to ensure that adequate manpower is available to serve the traveling public before, during and after the Holy Week.
Morente said he approved the recommendation of BI port operations division chief Marc Red Mariñas that BI officers assigned in field offices be temporarily deployed to the airports during the Lenten break.
He said the personnel augmentation scheme aims to “minimize, if not eradicate, long queues of passengers” in immigration counters during the holidays when there is an influx and exodus of large numbers of travelers to and from the country.
Morente said he already signed personnel orders reassigning to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport 38 Immigration officers presently assigned at the bureau’s main office and its satellite and extension offices in Metro Manila.
On the other hand, he disclosed that 20 other officers were reassigned and dispersed to the airports in Mactan-Cebu, Clark, Kalibo, and Davao.
He said the officers were picked from various BI field offices situated in areas near the said airports in the provinces.
According to Mariñas, all 58 officers will report to their new assignments next week and will remain there until ordered to return to their old posts.
“We will continue to monitor the situation in our airports and see to it that the traveling public is provided with quick, efficient and hassle-free service by our officers as they enter or exit our international airports,” he said.
Mariñas, nonetheless, said that although the BI officers were instructed to be fast in conducting immigration formalities, they were also told to exercise extra vigilance in screening and assessing all arriving and departing passengers.
“We should not allow the international terrorists and other unwanted aliens to take advantage of the occasion and sneak into our country undetected,” the BI official said.