BI launches E-Gate project to hasten processing of travelers

Published July 19, 2018, 10:14 AM

by Patrick Garcia

By Jun Ramirez

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) launched today its electronic gate system (E-Gate) project to further improve processing of international passengers and reduce the long queues of travelers at the airports.


BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said the scheme will cut the standard processing time for every traveler to only about eight to 15 seconds from the present average of 45 seconds.

Morente said that aside from facilitating passenger processing, the project will enhance the BI’s ability to pinpoint or detect travelers with derogatory records, including wanted fugitives.

“This project could not have come at a more opportune time in view of the steadily increasing volume of international flights and traveler who enter and exit the country everyday,” the BI chief said,

Morente said that the E-Gates are equipped with modern security features such as facial recognition, biometric scanning, bar code reading, and smart card recognition all rolled into one system.

BI Deputy Commissioner Marc Red Mariñas, who heads the bureau’s port operations division (POD), said that the P329-million project was funded by the national government and is an initiative of the International Air Transport Assocaition (IATA) through its Fast Travel program.

Mariñas clarified that the project is still in its experimental phase, thus it will first be introduced to Filipino passengers with machine readable passports.

Children, senior citizens on wheelchairs and other handicapped travelers will have to be processed at the regular counters.

A total of 21 E-Gates will be installed and operational before the year ends in five major international airports. Eleven E-Gates will be installed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminals 1 and 3, while five will later operate in Mactan, three at Clark, and two in Davao.