Immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and intelligence agents have started undergoing retraining and refresher seminars as part of a program to bolster their capability in combating human trafficking and thwarting the entry of illegal aliens.

Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. said more than a hundred BI employees assigned at the NAIA and at the Intelligence Division are required to attend the seminars on airport operations procedures and immigration intelligence gathering..

David said that aside from personnel manning the immigration counters, immigration supervisors and intelligence agents will also undergo retraining.

“This project is in line with the thrust of President Aquino to re-energize the government bureaucracy by eliminating corruption and professionalizing the rank and file,” the BI chief said.

David explained that the employees need to undergo retraining in order to refresh their knowledge and skills on airport immigration operations and update them on current immigration practices, policies, structures and procedures. The BI chief added that the trainings will booster the capability of the BI personnel to detect fraud documents such as Philippine visas being issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and other travel documents as well as increase their capability in intelligence-data gathering.

He added that similar retraining programs will later be conducted for BI employees assigned in the various ports nationwide, including Cebu, Clark, Davao, Zamboanga, Laoag and Subic.

BI Spokesperson, Lawyer Maria Antonette Mangrobang disclosed that some 50 NAIA-BI employees have been instructed to attend the seminars held last June 16 and another one scheduled today, June 23.

Mangrobang said the immigration officers and intelligence agents will be excused from their duties while attending the seminars jointly conducted by the BI training center and anti-fraud unit.

“They will be taught various topics on immigration laws and procedures, including fraudulent travel document detection, and profiling of undesirable aliens,” said senior immigration officer Rodolfo Gino, one of the lecturers in the seminars.

Gino said the bureau is presently designing a new training module for its immigration officers “to enhance their capability in performing their jobs as gatekeepers of the country.

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