Loitering immigration personnel warnedBy Jerome Aning
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Employees at the Bureau of Immigration’s (BI) main office in Intramuros, Manila, have been ordered not to hang out in nearby restaurants during office hours following reports that such places were the venue for “fixing” transactions.
Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. issued a memorandum last week prohibiting, under pain of disciplinary action, all BI employees from entering nearby cafes and restaurants, as well as the two canteens on the bureau premises.
David in a statement said that “idling and loitering” during office hours violated civil service rules and regulations and were punishable by suspension and dismissal.
Such establishments are off limits to immigration employees from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 1 to 5:30 p.m. on regular work days, David said in the memo.
The commissioner instructed the bureau’s civil security unit to strictly enforce the order and report any employee caught defying it.
Two years ago, a similar directive was issued by then BI officer in charge Ronaldo Ledesma following reports that some BI employees frequented the restaurants to transact “business” with “clients.”
David said he was prompted to enforce the ban on loitering after he was informed that BI employees were again spotted in the restaurants during office hours.
BI acting administrative chief Alberto Braganza said that under definitions in the civil service rules, frequent unauthorized absences constitutes loafing, while hanging out in hallways and stairways amounts to loitering and idling.
“Such acts are prejudicial to the interest of the service as it hampers the delivery of basic services to the public,” Braganza said.
David earlier issued a memorandum reiterating the “no lunch break” policy for BI employees rendering frontline services.