An additional 67 immigration officers were deployed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) this week to further improve the services and address the long queues at the country’s main gateway, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said on Monday.
In a statement, BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said the new employees assumed their posts this week after completing their three-month training on immigration laws, rules, and procedures at the Philippine Immigration Academy in Clark Field, Angeles City, Pampanga.
Morente said, “these fresh recruits underwent rigorous training to thoroughly prepare them for their job as gatekeepers and border control officers of the country.”
He added that the BI plans to hire more immigration officers for deployment to other major ports and border crossing stations.
“We will continue to augment our manpower in order to improve our service and address the problem of long passenger queues and congestion in our airports,” Morente said.
He, however, said prior to deploying the new employees to the ports, they have to make sure that they are “properly trained and mentally equipped to perform their jobs as immigration inspectors”.
He stated said being an immigration officer “is not an easy job, as it is highly technical and requires a deep understanding of laws”.
Since Morente assumed his post three years ago, the BI has already hired more than 300 immigration officers to beef up its manpower in international ports nationwide.
The bureau was obliged to step up its recruitment of new employees to cope with the increasing volume of international passengers and bolster its capability to thwart the entry of unwanted aliens into the country.
Immigration officers are also in the frontlines of the government’s campaign to combat human trafficking in the ports, and they share credit for the Philippines being ranked in Tier 1 of the US government’s trafficking index for the past four years.
Aside from augmenting its manpower, the BI was also successful in reducing the long passenger queues at NAIA by launching its e-gates project for Filipino travelers last year.
Immigration Port Operations Division chief Grifton Medina earlier said the officers have to face an average of 10,000 passengers daily at NAIA.
Of the 1,000 immigration officers across the country, about 600 to 800, including supervisors and inspectors, are deployed at NAIA, he added.
Medina said the new graduates would be trained at NAIA and would be deployed both at NAIA and the Clark International Airport during the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games the Philippines is hosting in November. (PNA)
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