deploys 500 immigration officers at NAIA for Undas

MANILA — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Tuesday said it has enough manpower at the airports to cater to passengers who will travel in and out of the country during the Undas break.

BI port operations division chief Grifton Medina noted that there are more than 500 immigration officers now deployed at the three terminals of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to attend to the needs of travelers.

He said these officers are assigned to the airport’s BI counters where all passengers line up to undergo immigration arrival and departure formalities after disembarking from or prior to boarding their flights.

“Our officers have been instructed not to be late or absent for work this peak season, they should not go on leave until after the Halloween break,” Medina said in a statement.

“All counters are manned to ensure that we provide our service efficiently,” the BI official added.

Statistics showed that passenger volume at the NAIA usually increases by an average of 6 percent to 10 percent during the annual Undas break.

Based on previous years’ statistics, the BI is expecting the number of passengers at the airport next week to increase to over half a million, compared to the 493,000 who arrived and departed from the country’s premier gateway in the same period last year.

On the other hand, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente appealed to the people for patience and understanding if they experience or are inconvenienced by long queues.

He said long lines occur, especially when flights carrying a big number of passengers arrive or depart simultaneously at the airport.

“I have directed our immigration supervisors to see to it that all our counters are manned to ensure and all maximum personnel are deployed to ensure uninterrupted service to the traveling public,” Morente said.

Earlier, the BI chief placed its personnel in the various ports on heightened alert to ensure that the country’s border security is not compromised amid the influx of passengers during the Undas season. Ferdinand Patinio/PNA-