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Immigration signs anti-corruption deal

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More than 400 Bureau of Immigration personnel have been investigated and sanctioned since 2016 under the current administration’s ‘iron fist’ policy, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said.

Morente, who vowed to weed out corruption in government in pursuit of good governance and public accountability, signed the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission’s (PACC) Anti-Corruption Manifesto in an online event Thursday.

The event, led by PACC Commissioner Greco Belgica, had about 150 attendees, including BI personnel assigned in different regions of the country.

“This is both as an affirmation of our unwavering commitment to the fight against corruption, as well as a means to remind all our personnel that corruption and illegal transactions have no room in the Bureau of Immigration,” said Morente.

Morente said the last few years have been a challenge to the bureau, with issues of corruption hounding the agency.

“More than 400 employees have been investigated or sanctioned since 2016, following our aggressive fight to weed out corruption. I take an iron fist stance on this evil, as it has no place amongst our ranks,” said Morente.

Late last year, Morente declared a one-strike policy against erring BI employees and warned that reports of corruption will lead to an employee’s immediate relief.

Apart from the administrative sanctions, the bureau has put in place numerous system improvements to deter and prevent corruption in the workplace, Morente added.

“We are proud of our ISO 9001:2015 Certification for our frontline services at the airports and our tourist visa extension at the main office. This shows that our services are of international standards,” he stated.

“The pandemic has given us more opportunities to implement measures that not only ensure the proper safety and health protocols but also result in tighter anti-corruption controls. These improvements have been proven effective, as seen in the most recent audit of the ARTA on the BI, wherein no major adverse findings have been reported,” said Morente.

“The signing of this manifesto is a symbol of our continuous commitment to finally cleanse the Bureau of the evils of corruption. With our partners from the PACC, we shall continue to uphold the tenets of the Anti-Corruption Manifesto and strive to be role models as responsible public servants,” said Morente.

“Together, we join hands as we walk the path to a cleaner, better, corrupt-free government,” he added.


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