BI deploys 67 more immigration officers at NAIA terminals

Published October 3, 2019, 10:33 AM

by Rica Arevalo

By Ariel Fernandez

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has started deploying 67 newly-hired immigration officers to the country’s international airports on Wednesday.

MB FILE - Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente (Ali Vicoy / MANILA BULLETIN)
Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente (ALI VICOY / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

According to BI Commissioner Jaime Morente, this is part of the agency’s continuous efforts to improve its services to the traveling public.

“The graduation of the officers is timed prior to the projected influx of passenger in the airport in the next few months for the upcoming South East Asian Games and when the holiday rush begins,” Morente said.

Morente said the new recruits underwent the Border Control Officers Module (BCOM), a six-month-long training designed to teach immigration laws, rules, and procedures.

“The 67 graduates, 38 females and 29 males, were divided into two classes. They began training at the Philippine Immigration Academy in Clark Pampanga last April. After three months, they were assigned at the airports and the BI’s main office for another three months as on-the-job trainees,” Morente said.

Morente shared that aside from the usual lectures, it is the first time that they have included Disaster and Emergency Preparedness Response seminar in the program.

“This kind of training adheres with the changing times. We want our officers to be fully prepared in the field even during emergency situations,” he added.

The Bureau’s Port Operations Division (POD) Chief Grifton Medina likewise disclosed that as part of their continuous effort to address the problem of congestion in the airports, all graduates have signed a lock-in contract with the POD stating that they will be deployed in our ports for a minimum of two years.

“We want the concept of genuine public service to be inculcated in our front-liners. We need them to be committed mentally and physically to the job,” Medina added.

Morente thanked President Duterte for approving the collection of Express Lane Fees (ELF) for another year to augment the salaries of immigration personnel.

“The extension of the collection of ELF to augment the salaries of immigration employees will not only attract more qualified personnel to apply for a job with us. This will also surely boost the morale of our current employees in the Bureau,” Morente said.

“Now quality personnel–honor students, graduates of prestigious schools–are attracted to apply,” he added.

The memorandum issued by the Office of the President regarding the use of ELF ensures the augmentation of the salaries of immigration personnel until an Immigration Modernization Law is passed.