Long lines were back at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport terminals due to lack of personnel manning the Immigration counters.
This prompted Transportation Secretary Arturo Tugade to meet officials of the Justice department, Immigration bureau and Manila International Airport Authority on Tuesday to discussed how to address immigration issues in airport terminals.
Tugade suggested the deployment of a rapid response team or a strike force composed of airport personnel to assist in the implementation of immigration procedures without compromising security.
These personnel, according to Tugade, shall be subject to trainings to be conducted by Immigration personnel.
The Transportation chief also suggested the establishment of additional e-gates to make sure that all immigration counters are manned.
At present, 500 immigration officers are deployed in NAIA Terminals 1, 2 and 3, on a shifting schedule.
“There should be no break-time if there are long queues at the immigration counters. There should not be a time where immigration booths are to be unmanned. Let us collaborate. Let us work with each
other. What is at stake here is the image of our country,” Tugade said.
The Bureau of Immigration had admitted it is having a hard time getting qualified personnel to become immigration officers because of the meager monthly salary ranging only from P18,000 to P 20,000.