The Bureau of Immigration has launched an anti-corruption program to stop corruption within the bureau and to professionalize its ranks to boost its reputation as one of government’s frontline service agencies.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said that an integrated management committee composed of top BI officials has been formed to formulate and implement anti-corruption measures in all of the bureau’s offices, including the different ports and sub-ports nationwide.
“We fully support the anti-corruption advocacy of President Duterte, and we have already made a commitment to Malacañang and the Office of the Ombudsman that we will intensify our anti-corruption campaign,” Morente said.
BI Port Operations chief Grifton Medina, the concurrent chairman of the Bureau’s Committee on Good Governance, said that the program is dubbed as the Integrity Management Program of the agency.
He said the BI will assess and review what and where the problems lie so as “to determine corruption vulnerabilities and institute integrity safeguards.”
“Once ascertained, the IMP will institute changes to eliminate the possibility of corruption and red tape,” he said.
“We want to ensure that corruption remains a high risk and low reward activity. IMP’s thrust is to institute preventive measures designed to eliminate corruption and improve public trust and confidence in the bureau. We want to identify where the risk of corruption is high so that these can be properly addressed and cured,” he said.
Medina said among the measures already in place include the banning of the use of mobile phones by immigration officers while on duty; the installation of CCTVs in the airports’ immigration areas; prohibition on passenger facilitation; ban on fixing in all BI offices; and periodic rotation and reshuffle of bureau personnel in the ports and field offices.
Only recently, section chiefs, terminal heads and other supervisors assigned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport were reshuffled.
“The continuing reshuffles and rotations is not only aimed to prevent fraternization in the workplace but also enhances the capabilities and knowledge of our employees, thus improving their professionalism and career advancement,” Medina said.
Medina also said that several seminar workshops and forum on anti-corruption will also be conducted for BI employees as part of IMP.
For his part, Morente said the Board of Discipline will be “working tirelessly to file cases against erring employees” and warned that BI has “zero tolerance for corruption, and anyone who will violate this policy will face the consequences.”