This is good news, hopefully those who are planning to go home this holiday will feel the love and care of our “newly” trained officers. We commend BI for having thought of this training, it is badly needed. Those mentioned soft skills (in bold letters) are a mouthful and we hope they will stick once they are back on the job….
As part of its continuing mission to empower and develop the potentials of its employees, the Bureau of Immigration will conduct this week a three-day training for immigration officers that focuses on effective communication, enhanced customer service and conflict management.
BI Officer-In-Charge Ronaldo Ledesma said an initial batch of 25 immigration officers will undergo the “Customer Care, Image and Skills Enhancement Workshop” to be held at the Philippine Immigration Academy in Clark, Pampanga from November 3 to 5.
“This is part of the bureau’s continuing efforts to improve our service delivery and at the same time update our immigration officers on the latest immigration trends and best practices in the world,” Ledesma said.
“Our immigration officers are the very first persons that foreigners meet when they arrive in our airports. That is why it is very important that they project a positive and professional image that should also reflect the Filipinos’ trademark traits of hospitality and courtesy,” he added.
Lawyer Arvin Santos, BI Airport Operations Division chief, said that the bureau would adjust the schedules of the other immigration officers who are not included in the first batch of trainees to minimize disruption in operations, particularly in the manning of immigration counters in the airports.
The three-day workshop will cover topics such as
- updates in the policies and procedures of the Airport Operations Division
- courtesy and discipline
- personal awareness and aspects of a positive job image as immigration officers
- effective communication
- conflict management
- and defining business etiquette within globally-accepted immigration standards, among others.
The bureau’s immigration officers are at the forefront of the country’s intensified campaign against human trafficking, drug smuggling and other transnational crimes, and are usually at the receiving end of abusive foreign visitors, thus the need to project strict but professional demeanor at all times.
“This training program is vital not only for the immigration officers’ professional growth but also in projecting a positive and tourist-friendly image for the Philippines in the eyes of the world,” Ledesma said.