New immigration database ready for returning OFWs
MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has beefed up its Border Control Information System (BCIS) in anticipation of the influx of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) this holiday season.
According to Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco, the bureau has recently rolled out the latest update of its BCIS, which is the centralized database of all travel records of incoming and outgoing passengers.
He said this is part of efforts to prioritize OFWs traveling in and out of the country this holiday season.
The BI has also allocated about a third of its counters to prioritize OFWs at Ninoy Aquino International Airport, according to Tansingco.
“[W]e want to make sure to give them the best and most efficient service, so they can spend more time with their families,” he added.
In a statement, Tansingco said that, with the latest BCIS, the bureau has ironed out technical glitches primarily in the connectivity with the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW)’s overseas employment certificate (OEC) validation system.
He explained that the system is a database sharing information that would allow the BI access to the DMW’s OEC records, lessening paperwork for departing OFWs, adding that the system is integrated with the BI’s system, allowing immigration officers to search and view the OFW record corresponding to the OEC presented.
Apart from faster processing, the system also allowed BI officers to immediately verify and intercept fake OECs upon presentation by illegal recruitment and human trafficking victims.
“This e-system has truly been instrumental in the improvement of services of both the BI and the DMW for OFWs,” said Tansingco as he thanked DMW Secretary Susan Ople for the partnership in an effort to improve services for OFWs.
He added that the majority of the technical glitches previously encountered have been resolved, and they are in continuous communication with the DMW regarding improvements they can implement on the system.
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