The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has deployed additional Immigration officers to international ports outside of Metro Manila to thwart the entry of foreign terrorists and other undesirable aliens in the provinces.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said that he had already issued personnel orders directing scores of Immigration officers to report for duty in other international ports nationwide.
Morente said the move was aimed at augmenting the number of BI personnel assigned in the said ports whose primary function is to process and screen arriving and departing foreign and local travelers.
The places where the Immigration officers were reassigned are the airports in Mactan-Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Kalibo, and the international seaport in Zamboanga City.
According to Morente, the BI can now afford to disperse its personnel to the provinces as the bureau continues to expedite the recruitment of Immigration officers.
“We are still in the process of selecting qualified applicants to hundreds of vacant positions for Immigration officers,” the BI chief said, adding that those who have been hired are now manning Immigration booths in the three terminals of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
BI port operations division chief Marc Red Mariñas said he recommended the personnel deployment to the provinces because there are now enough immigration officers currently assigned at the NAIA.
Mariñas said the perennial problem of manpower lack at the NAIA has been squarely addressed with the entry into the service of more than a hundred new immigration officers in the past two months alone.
“As more and more immigration officers are hired in the next few months, there will be more who will be reassigned and deployed to the provinces to beef up our manpower in ports where we used to have a negligible presence,” he added.
Mariñas said the BI is close to meeting the ideal number of immigration officers who should be stationed at the NAIA, thus paving the way for the deployment of more personnel to other ports.