Speak Chinese? Apply for duty at Naia | Inquirer News

Speak Chinese? Apply for duty at Naia

/ 05:44 AM September 02, 2016

Chinese-speaking Filipinos will be stationed at immigration counters to serve as interpreters at Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the country’s main gateway, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said on Thursday.

The agency said it  announced 12 vacancies for the position of translator, in a bid to ensure smooth communications between its agents and arriving travelers.


“This is to eliminate the possibility  foreigners are excluded simply because our officers fail to understand the passenger’s response,” Immigration spokesperson Antonette Mangrobang said.

BI data  showed that of the 1,938 foreigners who were denied entry at  Naia for the first half of 2016,  35 percent or 676 were Chinese nationals.


Those who were denied entry either failed to explain the purpose of their trip, were in the BI’s derogatory list or failed to show sufficient documentation, the bureau said.


On contract


Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said the interpreters would  be hired on a contractual basis and would be part of the BI administrative support staff at the airports.

“The recruitment of interpreters is  long overdue as immigration officers and supervisors at Naia had repeatedly requested for this,” Morente said.

“Even the airline companies do not have interpreters who can help their Chinese passengers communicate with immigration officers,” Morente said.


Port Operations Division chief Marc Red Mariñas said that due to the language barrier, many Chinese nationals were denied entry.

“The BI has received complaints that  Chinese passengers were excluded mainly because they could not express themselves in English, which caused misunderstanding with our officers,” he said.

In an advisory posted on its Facebook page, the BI’s Port Operations Division said it was accepting applicants for Chinese-speaking interpreters for  Chinese passengers.

Applicants must be proficient in Mandarin, and knowledgeable in other Chinese dialects such as Cantonese, Hakka, Wu, Min, Xiang, Gan, among others. They should also be natural-born Filipino citizens, 40 years old and under, and must have worked as an interpreter for at least a year. Julie M. Aurelio

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