BI says improved services part of Duterte legacy

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) said Friday, July 1, that it has significantly improved its services during the six years administration of former President Duterte despite the numerous scandals that rocked the agency.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente (Screengrab from INTERPOL TV YouTube video)

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said the bureau remained steadfast in doing its tasks, effectively earning recognition from various international organizations and foreign governments.

For one, the BI chief said the US State Department granted the country Tier 1 status in fighting human trafficking for the past six years, the first in ASEAN region.

The bureau, he said, has been consistent recepient of prestigious International Standard for Organization certification, the first awardee among agencies attached to the Department of Justice.

"These awards are clear indication that our services are at par with international standards," Morente said.

He said they have been modernizing the information security system through the installation of high-definition CCTVs, linking systems with other offices like the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration and the INTERPOL and the appointment procedure.

The bureau also set-up electronic gates for faster processing of arriving Filipinos and advance passenger information system to conduct security vetting of international travelers.

He said thousands of undesirables aliens were arrested and deported for involvement in various criminal activities like telecom fraud, on-line gambling, illegal trade and overstaying.

Prior to the pandemic, Morente said the bureau raised almost P12 billion in one year, implying that more aliens are legalizing their stay in the country.

He said a Facebook Page Immigration Helpline PH was set up to answer queries and other concerns from the public.

He said immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and other ports are reshuffled periodically to stop fraternization and corruption.