Duterte orders advance passenger information system to beef up border control
MANILA, Philippines — Commercial carriers are now required to submit to the Bureau of Immigration (BI) their passengers’ information ahead of their arrival or departure in the Philippines.
This after President Rodrigo Duterte issued an executive order (EO) mandating the adoption and implementation of an Advance Passenger Information or API system to strengthen border control.
API is an electronic communication containing passenger-related information, such as flight details and personal information which is submitted to the BI prior to arrival at or departure from any port of entry, according to Duterte’s EO 122 signed Tuesday.
“The captain, master or agent, or owner of a commercial carrier whose vessel or aircraft is arriving in or departing from any port within the Philippines, shall provide the BI the API of its passengers, and those of the crew and non-crew members,” Duterte said in his EO.
The API will serve as the “initial security vetting” process for passengers, crew, and non-crew members.
The BI is mandated to conduct security vetting of the API with its own database and if necessary, using non-law enforcement databases, notices by the International Criminal Police Organization, United Nations Security Council sanctions, and travel bans.
The information contained in the API may be shared with law enforcement agencies in furtherance of regional and international security subject to existing treaties, laws, rules and regulations and whenever consistent with the national interest.
The order will take effect upon publication in the Official Gazette or any newspaper of general circulation.
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