The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has beefed up its manpower at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) with the deployment of some 30 immigration officers there over the past three weeks, it was learned yesterday.
Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Terminal 3
Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. said the augmentation of BI personnel at the NAIA is in line with the bureau’s thrust to intensify the campaign against human trafficking and address the increasing volume of passengers arriving and departing daily at the country’s premiere port.
David said the additional personnel were assigned to the immigration arrival and departure counters of the three terminals at the NAIA where both Filipino and foreign overseas travelers are screened and processed prior to boarding or disembarking from their flights.
“The campaign against human trafficking requires the fielding of more immigration officers to ensure that our ports of entry are adequately guarded,” the BI chief declared.
He added that the BI’s ongoing drive involves not only thwarting the entry of undesirable aliens but also the preventing the departure of victims of illegal recruitment and human trafficking.
He also noted that the BI expects the number of international travelers to rise further in the next few months, thus long queues in the airport’s immigration counters should be avoided through the fielding of more immigration officers.
The BI chief disclosed that most of the personnel recently assigned to the NAIA are veteran immigration officers who were previously recalled to the main office for retraining on airport operations and procedures.
He reiterated that all BI airport personnel will be required to undergo retraining as part of the agency’s efforts to improve its services and update its employees on the latest global trends and practices on immigration.
“Our immigration officers are the very first persons that foreigners meet when they visit our country, thus they must project a positive and professional image to reflect our vaunted trademark traits of hospitality and courtesy,” David said.
He added that the training program is not only vital in developing the immigration officers’ professional growth but also in projecting tourist-friendly image for the Philippines in the eyes of the world.