The Department of Justice (DOJ) has approved the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the advanced passenger information system (APIS), the Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced on Friday, Feb. 26.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente disclosed that Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra had approved the APIS’ IRR last January and that it had already been published in a newspaper of national circulation.
Adopted through an executive order that President Duterte issued last Dec. 15, the APIS–which aims to strengthen the country’s border security–involves the electronic transmission to the BI by the airlines of the names and personal details of their passengers and crew members prior to their arrival or departure in the country.
This will enable the BI to conduct in advance security vetting of international travelers so that those with derogatory record, like wanted foreign fugitives, will be prevented from boarding their flights to the Philippines right at their ports of origin.
Morente said the BI will launch the APIS as soon as technical issues are ironed out. He said this will ensure the successful implementation of the scheme.
The BI created the APIS Operations Center (APOC) last February 19 to oversee the implementation of the project.
Once operational, the APIS will relieve both the airlines and the BI of the burden of having to turn back or exclude undesirable aliens upon arriving at the airports and board them on the first available flight to their port of origin.