THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) personnel, particularly those manning our ports, are sad over the resignation of Marc Red Mariñas as chief of the Ports Operation Division (POD). Marinas had to relinquish his post to run for mayor of Muntinlupa City.
The position he vacated is a sensitive one, in the sense that it involves keeping our borders safe. This means making sure that those who might not do the country any good, such as terrorists, do not ever set foot in the country.
It is also the job of the POD to ensure that fugitives from justice do not make the Philippines a haven for them to escape trial.
It is good that Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra named a very good replacement in the person of Grifton Medina, who will be concurrently serving as the BI’s Personnel Chief.
“The men and women of the BI are grateful to Secretary Guevarra for choosing Medina, whose competence and integrity cannot be assailed, for these two important and sensitive positions in the Bureau,” said Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente.
According to a BI press statement on the appointment of Medina, the latter was described as a senior immigration officer who had headed the Personnel Section since January 2016. He also chairs the Bureau’s committee on good governance.
Medina, as further stated, holds a master of law degree, major in international law, which he acquired from Whittier College in California. He was also a professor at the Lyceum of the Phippines University from 2011 to 2016.
With Medina’s stewardship of the POD, Morente said “the BI is on the right path to attaining our goal of transforming the Bureau into a proud, modern and efficient agency of government.”
Medina, I learned, is the best choice so far to replace Marinas in implementing Guevarra’s marching orders to improve the Bureau’s services, combat corruption and strengthen border security.
Mariñas formally turned over his post to Medina in simple ceremonies held at the POD office at the NAIA 3 terminal over the weekend.
In his speech, Medina vowed to continue the reforms that Mariñas instituted to improve the bureau’s services to the traveling public at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and other ports of entry throughout the country.
Medina said the policies and programs that Mariñas implemented will continue to be pursued under his watch as he praised the latter for successfully steering the POD in discharging its function as gatekeeper of the country’s ports.
The new BI-POD chief, however, warned that he will be very strict in enforcing the bureau’s rules and regulations against erring port personnel.
He said BI port personnel who are habitually absent and late in reporting for duty will be disciplined and required to undergo retraining.
Medina also instructed immigration officers in the different ports to remain vigilant in thwarting the entry of undesirable aliens and in preventing the departure of human trafficking and illegal recruitment victims.
Well, truly, the service record of Marinas is hard to replicate. But given the credentials of Medina and his reputation about job quality, he might just do as well.
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