June 15, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

BI on heightened alert , all geared up for Undas

THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) assured it has enough manpower at the airports to service passengers who will travel in and out of the country during the Undas break.

BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco said that its personnel deployed in all major international airports remain sufficient to cater to the needs of the traveling public.

He added that as previously practiced, officers are disallowed from going on vacation leaves during the peak season.

He said that the agency expects a surge of travelers in the next few weeks, and projects  a total of four million arrivals for the entire 4th quarter of 2023.  The BI also projects around 3.8 million departures from October to December.

“We are close to seeing pre-pandemic figures in our arrivals and departures,” said Tansingco.  “We have implemented numerous changes in our systems to cater to the resumption of international travel after the pandemic,” he added.

Tansingco shared that apart from the new immigration officers, he has assigned augmentation teams, and had mobile counters ready for deployment as needed.

“Given that we have limited space, we have to be creative in our ways to ease the lines,” said Tansingco.

Prior to the pandemic, the passenger volume at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport usually increases by an average of 6 to 10 percent.

Tansingco said that while lines would be inevitable given that flights carrying numerous passengers arrive and depart simultaneously at the airport, he assured that they would be manageable.

He reminded the public to arrive at the airports at least three hours prior to their flight, and proceed directly to the immigration area for clearance after check-in.

All BI officers in all airports are likewise placed on heightened alert to ensure that criminal syndicates do not take advantage of the influx of passengers.

“I have ordered all terminal heads to conduct close monitoring of our operations these coming weeks to ensure smooth processing,” he stated.