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BI to augment officers in airports in time for Holy Week exodus

Arriving passengers retrieve their checked-in luggage from the baggage carousel at the airport. (INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/JOAN BONDOC)

The Bureau of Immigration will augment its officers in different international airports across the country in anticipation of the surge in passengers during the Holy Week break.

BI commissioner Jaime Morente ordered the deployment of 58 more immigration officers upon the recommendation of BI port operations division chief Marc Red Mariñas.

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Under the personnel augmentation scheme, BI officers assigned in field offices will be temporarily assigned or transferred to immigration counters in the airports during the Lenten break.

“This aims to minimize, if not eradicate, the queues of passengers at immigration counters during the holidays, when there is an exodus of travelers,” Morente said in a statement.

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Morente has signed orders temporarily reassigning 38 immigration officers from their posts at the BI main office and satellite or extension offices to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

On the other hand, 20 immigration officers will be assigned temporarily to Mactan-Cebu International Airport, Clark International Airport in Pampanga, Kalibo International Airport in Aklan, and Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao.

Mariñas said all 58 officers will report to their new assignments starting next week and will remain there until they are ordered to return to their old posts.

“We will continue to monitor the situation in our airports and see to it that the traveling public is provided with quick, efficient and hassle-free service by our officers as they enter or exit our international airports,” he stressed.

Although the immigration officers should be quick as possible in conducting immigration formalities, they were also told to observe vigilance in screening arriving and departing passengers to prevent international terrorists and other unwanted aliens from sneaking into the country and taking advantage of the Holy Week break.

“We should not allow the international terrorists and other unwanted aliens to take advantage of the occasion and sneak into our country undetected,” Mariñas said.  /kga

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TAGS: Airports, Aviation, BI, break, Holiday, Holy Week, Immigration, Travel
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