Immigration hires Chinese-speaking interpreters for NAIA

MANILA — With the assistance of newly hired 12 Chinese-speaking interpreters, immigration officers can now immediately determine and decide if an arriving Chinese tourist should be excluded or denied entry into the Philippines.

According to Commissioner Jaime Morente, the Chinese interpreters, hired as contractual employees, had been deployed to the three terminals of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) since last week.

“By engaging their services, we were able to eliminate the language barrier that for so many years has been a source of misunderstanding and miscommunication between our immigration officers and Chinese travelers,” he added.

Morente said the employees had been assisting immigration officers in interviewing or propounding questions to Chinese passengers in both the immigration arrival and departure areas of the three NAIA terminals.

The BI chief noted that with the aid of the interpreters, immigration officers could now easily perform their tasks in screening and assessing Chinese passengers before they were admitted into the country.

BI port operations division acting chief, Marc Red Marinas, earlier suggested the hiring of the Chinese-speaking interpreters, who were assigned to the administrative support staffs of the bureau at the NAIA.

He explained the services of the interpreters were repeatedly sought by immigration officers and immigration supervisors at the NAIA due to their inability to converse with Chinese passengers who could not speak English.

Marinas cited statistics showing that about 35 percent or a third of the total foreign nationals denied entry at the NAIA were Chinese.

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