BI officers demoralized; abusive gov’t vehicle (SGU-871)

February 18, 2020

With the recent allegations of irregularity hovering over the heads of Bureau of Immigration (BI) at the premier terminals of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA),  a lot of immigration personnel now are running on low morale.

This, I learned and saw for myself and also heard from BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval when she was interviewed yesterday morning  by Arnold ‘Igan’ Clavio and Ms. Ali ‘Aloha’ Sotto.

Before the news of the said alleged irregularity broke out, I was chatting with some friends from the BI-NAIA and I learned of the challenges, er, difficulties, they  hurdled as travel bans were implemented left and right as a result of the outbreak of the corona virus disease (COVID) 19.

Dealing with the angry passengers day in, day out was just too draining for the immigration officers. They took the brunt of the situation that no one ever wanted and which definitely was no fault of theirs to begin with.

Emotions ran and continue to run high among local and foreign passengers as well as overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who all had good reasons to be anxious and upset about not being allowed in or out of the country.  

Rejecting some who cite extreme situations like an emergency in the family or losing their jobs amid tearful pleas is something no one would ever want to do but this is what BI personnel face daily.

According to Sandoval, the number of passengers who were excluded or not allowed into the country for various reasons in 2019 reached 7,700 and the BI continuously institutes reforms including reshuffling its officers and personnel from time to time, in order to avoid familiarity.

The anomaly issue unnecessarily creates a sweeping negative impression of the BI personnel in general when, according to Sandoval, those who actually get involved in such irregularities comprise but a speck of the entire BI population, a mere estimated one percent.

In reality, there is not one organization — no matter how small or big— which does not have a rotten member. This is however, not a good reason to conclude that everyone in that particular group is also rotten.

What about the fact that these BI personnel frontlining at our premier airport terminals are also highly instrumental in thwarting the entry of bad foreign elements into the country for the longest time and they are among the reasons why we sleep soundly at night?

By the way, someone intimated that the one who supplied the compromising video that was used in the Senate inquiry was a male immigration officer.  What his purpose was is still anybody’s guess.

For me, if he did this for a noble cause, which is to expose a wrongdoing and nothing but, that’s fine. However, if he did it for the simple reason of envy for not being included in the alleged racket, it’s downright disgusting and selfish as he put the entire bureau in a very bad light, from which it might yet take another bit of time to recover.

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At around 2:15 p.m. yesterday,  I was driving along the southbound lane of Roxas Boulevard when government vehicle with government plate cut us— suddenly darted in front of us without signal or honking his horn. As the  green light turned red, the said vehicle, a cream Isuzu pick-up, still turned left to Quirino Avenue and beat the red light.

Noticeably, the car’s plate which was supposedly red, was white and full of small stickers that one won’t be able to see it or jot it down unless the car is in full stop and you have enough time to look at the plate closely. The plate number is SGU-871 with conduction sticker 88KUB.

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Jokjok (from David Constantino of Batangas City)—Juan: Doc, I need to buy poison. Please help me./Doc: Sorry, I can’t sell you that. It’s not allowed. What do you need it for?/Juan: Here (shows photo of his wife)./Doc: Who’s this?/Juan: My wife/Doc: Sorry, I didn’t know you had a prescription. How many do you need???

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