Iloilo int’l airport personnel urged to improve service



ILOILO CITY—A Western Visayas tourism official on Thursday urged immigration personnel assigned at the Iloilo International Airport to ensure that they provide necessary service to international airline passengers.

Tourism Regional Director Helen Catalbas made the call after the passengers of a Cebu Pacific flight from Singapore waited several minutes because the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation (BID) personnel were not around.

“It’s a bad introduction to Iloilo if passengers are inconvenienced because government personnel are not in their posts,” said Catalbas.

The passengers arrived in Iloilo at 5:40 a.m. on Nov. 22, some 30 minutes ahead of schedule, but the immigration personnel were nowhere to be found.

Catalbas said around 80 passengers who had already claimed their baggage on the airport’s ground floor were directed to return to the second floor for immigration clearance.

The delay irked the passengers, she said.

Noel Bangeles, Iloilo airport immigration supervisor, said the seven-member team assigned at the airport was delayed because their rented shuttle van failed to pick them up at their boarding house in Sta. Barbara town, a 10-minute drive from the airport.

Bangeles said they arrived at 5:45 a.m. after they found another vehicle to bring them to the airport. “It was an isolated case and it was unfortunate that we had problems with our service vehicle during the day that the flight arrived ahead of schedule,” he told the Inquirer.

Bangeles said they usually arrived at least an hour before the scheduled time of arrival and at least three hours before the time of departure.

After the incident, the immigration personnel, who were deployed from Manila, resorted to sleeping in their office at the Iloilo airport, which they also share with personnel of the Bureau of Quarantine, to prevent the recurrence of the Nov. 22 incident.

Bangeles said he had requested for a service vehicle from the BID central office but this has not arrived yet. He said they still lack resources because the deployment of BID personnel at the Iloilo airport was not anticipated this year.

Business groups had earlier loaned computer units to the immigration personnel at the airport because the BID central office has not provided digital passport scanning computers.

The airport opened to international flights for the first time with the start of flights between Iloilo and Hong Kong on Nov. 8 and Iloilo and Singapore on Nov. 9.

Business groups, officials and overseas Filipino workers have earlier welcomed the opening of direct international flights, which they considered a boost to travel, tourism and trade in Western Visayas.

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  • LabkoPinas

    The excuse given by these immigration officials assigned to the Iloilo airport is not only inadequate but also very flimsy. If their shuttle was late or broke down they should have just taken public transport which is readily available. Their problem is that they have kept their lackadaisical behavior to Iloilo from wherever they came from. They should be suspended if this happens again.

  • JudgeJuanDeLaCruz

    We spend millions of dollars to sell the Philippine but what poor service! Those immigration agents should be fired. Imagine, blaming their shuttle bus for coming in late for work. The head of the immigration at Iloilo airport should be the first to be chopped off!

  • Joseph stahlin

    sus… too many excuses… amo guid  ni … ang mga taga airport. employee..diri  sa IloIlo … indi lang mga abosador.. matamad pa.. too  many guards on duty.. pero naga pernongko lang halos indi maglihok..
    ti kay may international flight na… madungan  na sina ang mga delay…ambot lang

  • Nteng

    Ay naku. Don’t just point fingers at your Customs & Immigration personnel. The bosses are no less guilty. Penalties should adhere to the command responsibility rule. Even in NAIA, when flights arrive ahead of schedule, customs officials are nowhere to be found and door opening of aircrafts that just arrived had to be delayed until they appear. And it happens again and again as if no rules and supervision exist in their operations…. As this country’s economy advances, the third world mentality remains

  • juansanmateo

    stupid reason

  • Garo Ungaro

    fired them until, they get the message…again this is a black eye to the tourism industry…this government personnel seems don’t get the message…how can u encourage tourist to come in visit if this is the kind of service we can offer…its sad…

  • Loggnat

    At least fire the person in charge of billeting the BID employees and the person in charge of the group in Manila who assigned them to Iloilo Int’l Airport. For incompetency and lack of pro-active action to support the group he/she assigned to do the job. Keep firing and replacing incompetent bureaucrats/ paper pushers until you find these that can actually do the job properly.

  • Matt

    I thought immigration officers can’t be found at their posts is just happening only in Saudi Arabia, but now also in the Philippines? Oh my, it is really a dismay that our government is lack of Customer Service orientation to their employees.  UUnahin pa ang mag chikka kesa sa work. Don’t tell me NO, because this is what always happening in government offices.  And now, the very important office of BID for travellers is adapting the stupid behavior! This is unacceptable especially to business travellers who are only catching their precious time. Just a matter of respect to everyone’s golden time.

    Bago ka makapag work sa gobyerno kung ano anong requirements hihingin sau, like eligibility, strict sa mga qualifications, so on and so fort na akala mo they really hire highly competent individuals. Yon pala hanggang papel lang pagdating sa actual performance haaisssttt Number 1 sa DAKDAKERA, LATE, ABSENT at MATA POBRE!  Pagkita nila gusgusin ka ay deadma! pero pag pormadong pormado ay todo entertain!

    Pero pagdating sa bonuses, allowances, and other benefits, ayaw pahuli!

    I know meron pa namang matitino pero believe it or not, kahit mag survey pa tayo the general impression to the Government Employees are the same to the one I have stated above!

    Hoy! magbago na kayo mga tao sa gobyerno at nang umunlad na tayo!

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