Bureau of Immigration deploys more men in all ports for Lenten

Grifton Medina

IN view of the expected big leap in the volume of passengers who would travel in and out of the country during the Lenten break, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) has placed on heightened alert its personnel in all the international airports and seaports..

It was learned that Port Operations Division (POD) Chief Grifton Medina has deployed more than 50 immigration officers to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to augment the number of personnel already manning the immigration booths in the arrival and departure areas of the premiere port during the peak season.

This, even as stricter measures will be implemented in screening all arriving and departing passengers and to ensure that enough manpower are available in our airports to service the needs of the traveling public.

Medina said that he had also issued a memorandum banning all BI airport personnel, including the terminal heads and duty supervisors, from going on leave from April 8 to 22, except for meritorious or emergency reasons.

‘As for the 50 more immigration officers temporarily reassigned to the NAIA, the employees were picked from the main office and the different field, satellite and extension offices of the BI nationwide.  We have also instructed members of our travel control and enforcement unit (TCEU) and border control and intelligence unit (BCIU) to double their vigilance during this critical period,’’ Medina added.

TCEU and BCIU personnel at the airports assist BI frontline officers in monitoring arriving alien passengers in order to prevent the entry of undesirable aliens into the country.  They also remain on the lookout for suspected human trafficking victims so that the latter are prevented from departing for their foreign destinations.