BI confirms OFW complaint vs officer who allegedly asked for P150,000 'escort' fee | Inquirer News

BI confirms OFW complaint vs officer who allegedly asked for P150,000 ‘escort’ fee

By: - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
/ 02:03 PM April 03, 2023

The BI confirms that an OFW complained against an officer who allegedly asked for P150,000 as an "escort" fee


MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Monday confirmed that an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) personally sought Commissioner Norman Tansingco and complained against one of its officers for extortion.

In a public briefing, BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval said the officer allegedly asked the Filipino seafarer for money in exchange for assistance to board a flight to France.


“Napag-alaman natin na mayroong isang passenger, seafarer na kinikilan umano ng isang immigration personnel ng P150,000. ‘Yung passenger mismo ang nagpunta kay BI Commissioner Tansingco upang ilahad ang kanyang istorya,” she said.

(We learned that a seafarer passenger was allegedly asked by one immigration personnel for P150,000. The passenger personally went to BI Commissioner Tansingco to tell the story.)

“Napatunayan natin that person is really an employee of the BI,” she added.

(We validated that the person is an employee of the BI.)

Sandoval’s confirmation came following reports that a Filipino seafarer named JC Manganti was allegedly asked for P150,000 by a BI officer to help him board a plane to France after he was offloaded at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia).

According to news reports, the passenger was not allowed to board the plane last August 7, 2022, despite having a valid Schengen visa and complete documents.


When he went to the BI main office, the agency said he had complete documents and may proceed with his flight, but he was again reportedly prevented from boarding upon reaching the airport.

On his third effort, an immigration officer at the BI headquarters allegedly volunteered to accompany him to the airport and board the plane for a charge of P150,000.

Sandoval said they are already investigating the matter, and the personnel will face an administrative complaint if proven guilty of the accusation.

The BI is also waiting for the formal complaint of the seafarer against the employee, she added.

Authorities are revisiting departure formalities for passengers being screened for possible human trafficking amid backlash over the “ridiculous and frivolous” demands of BI officers from some Filipinos leaving the country for abroad.

READ: Immigration agents to clean up airport act amid much flak

The Department of Justice earlier said the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (Iacat), of which the BI is a member, is in the process of revising procedures “to better reflect current trends and plug the gaps” and “minimize the inconvenience” on passengers.

Sandoval also said the BI is in the process of “slowly transitioning” from paper-based departure cards to the government’s online registration system.

READ: Airport registration system goes paperless

The agency earlier announced they would expand the government’s eTravel system starting April 15 to lessen the requirements for outbound passengers.


Worsening corruption and morale at the Bureau of Immigration

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TAGS: Bureau of Immigration, extortion, OFW

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