BI ready for influx of returning OFWs

Published January 9, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Jun Ramirez

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) is bracing for the influx of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from the Middle East who might be evacuated if the current conflict between the United States and Iran escalates.


Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said he has ordered all BI personnel at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and other international ports to be ready for any eventuality.

“I have directed our port operations division to see to it that adequate manpower is available to address a possible upsurge in the number of passengers arriving from the Middle East,” Morente said.

He added that if needed, the BI is ready to deploy additional men at the airports by transferring those stationed in other ports and offices to the NAIA immigration office.

The order was given following the Department of Foreign Affairs advisory raising to Alert Level 4 the alert level for Filipinos in the whole of Iraq, as well as issuing an advisory to Filipinos in Iran, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia to remain vigilant and to closely coordinate with the Philippine Embassy.

In compliance with Morente’s directive, BI port operations division chief Grifton Medina issued a memorandum advising all BI airport personnel to prepare for a possible mass repatriation of Filipinos from the Middle East.

Medina instructed airport heads to ensure that all terminals are fully manned to ensure the smooth processing of possible repatriates.