The Bureau of Immigration (BI) will be enforcing a no-leave policy for its employees this coming Holy Week break to ensure that adequate officers are available to serve the traveling public.
Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco said the ban on leaves, which starts on March 24 and ends on April 15, applies to BI employees assigned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and all the other international ports nationwide.
Tansingco said that during the said period all applications for vacation leaves and applications for authority to travel abroad by any BI employee assigned at the ports will not be entertained nor approved.
“We are constrained to implement this leave ban to make sure that our service to the traveling public are not interrupted or compromised during the Lenten break when there will surely be a sharp upsurge in the number of passengers who will enter and exit the country,” the BI chief stressed.
He added that the influx of international passengers is not only expected at the NAIA but in the other major ports such as Mactan, Clark and Kalibo. “We have to see to it that our immigration booths at the airports are fully manned in order to cope with the long queues of passengers who will be arriving from or leaving for abroad to spend time with their families and relatives,” Tansingco said.
Statistics show that since the Philippines reopened its borders to foreigners in March last year, the combined volume of international passengers who arrive and depart from the country is now averaging more than 30,000 daily compared to only about 6,000 to 9,000 daily in March 2022.
The Philippines, like all other countries globally, experienced a serious drop in international travel volume when the pandemic struck in March 2020.