Immigration launches program vs corruption

Jaime Morente

This according to the Bureau of Immigration (BI), is the policy that the bureau will be strictly observing as it launched anew an anti-corruption program for its personnel as part of its management’s campaign to professionalize its ranks and boost its reputation as one of government’s frontline service agencies.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said an integrated management committee composed of top BI officials has been formed last week to formulate and implement anti-corruption measures in all of the bureau’s offices, including the different ports and sub-ports nationwide.

‘We fully support the anti-corruption advocacy of President Duterte, and we have already made a commitment to Malacañang and Office of the Ombudsman that we will intensify our anti-corruption campaign, he said.

According to Grifton Medina, BI Port Operations Division chief and concurrent chair of the Bureau’s Committee on Good Governance (CGG), the program is dubbed as the Integrity Management Program (IMP) of the agency.

Medina said that reviews will be conducted on processes to determine corruption vulnerabilities and institute integrity safeguards, adding that upon determining process issues, they will be instituting changes to eliminate the possibility of corruption and red tape.  

‘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.  We want to identify where the risk of corruption is high so that these can be properly addressed and cured,’ Medina further explained.

He said  that among the measures already in place are the ban on use of mobile phones by immigration officers while on duty; the installation of CCTVs in the airports’ immigration areas; prohibition on passenger facilitation; ban on fixing in all BI offices; and periodic rotation and reshuffle of bureau personnel in the ports and field offices.

Medina added that only recently, the various section chiefs, terminal heads and other supervisors assigned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) were reshuffled.

He said that these continuing job reshuffles and rotations do not only aim to prevent fraternization in the workplace but ‘also enhances the capabilities and knowledge of our employees, thus improving their professionalism and career advancement.’