Downsized staff running BI offices in NCR+

Published May 20, 2021, 12:07 PM

by Jun Ramirez

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) said its offices in Metro Manila and the adjacent provinces of Rizal, Cavite, Bulacan, and Laguna will continue to operate on “skeletal” manpower.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said the downsizing of personnel was in compliance with the resolution of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), which placed the so-called the National Capital Region (NCR)-plus under general community quarantine (GCQ) “with heightened restrictions”.

The IATF directed all government offices in the said places to maintain a maximum of 50 percent of their workforce in their daily operations. The GCQ status will last from May 15 to 30.

The BI chief advised the public that only those who have registered via the bureau’s online appointment system can transact business at the bureau’s main office in Intramuros, Manila.

BI port operations chief Carlos Capulong said, however, that the agency is operating at full capacity at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to better serve the travelling public.

Capulong noted that there have been fewer international flights lately due to the persisting travel ban on passengers coming from seven Asian and Middle Eastern countries hit by the highly contagious Indian coronavirus disease (COVID-19) variant.