LIKE in other government offices, reports of continued corruption and red tape are nothing new in the Bureau of Immigration (BI), which is under the Department of Justice (DoJ).
But what is important, in the view of many, is what these state agencies are doing to stamp out corruption as President Duterte completes next month the first three years of his presidency.
When he assumed the highest political post at 12 noon on June 30, 2016, the hard-hitting Duterte vowed that he would never tolerate grafters to continue serving in his administration.
To support the anti-corruption advocacy of the tough-talking Chief Executive, BI Commissioner Jaime Morente has launched a multi-pronged program aimed at ridding the agency of grafters.
It is dubbed as the Integrity Management Program (IMP), according to Grifton Medina, BI Port Operations Division chief and concurrently chair of the Committee on Good Governance.
“We want to ensure that corruption remains a high risk and low reward activity. IMP’s thrust is to institute preventive measures designed to eliminate corruption and improve public trust and confidence in the bureau,” said Medina.
Among the measures already in place are the ban on the use of cellular phones by immigration officials while on duty, the prohibition on passenger facilitation, and periodic reshuffle of BI personnel.
Commissioner Morente has created an integrated management committee composed of some of his top officials to formulate and implement anti-corruption measures in all BI offices.
“We fully support the anti-corruption advocacy of President Duterte, and we have already made a commitment… that we will intensify our anti-corruption campaign,” the BI chief said.
But the public should also give the government all the help it needs to pin down all the “crooks” and “vultures,” who continue to make a mockery of President Duterte’s anti-corruption crusade.