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BI to prioritize OFW travelers this holiday season

BUREAU of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Norman Tansingco vowed to prioritize overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) traveling in and out of the country this holiday season.

According to Tansingco, they have recently rolled out the latest update of their Border Control Information System (BCIS), which is the centralized database of all travel records of incoming and outgoing passengers.

Tansingco shared that, in the latest update rolled out last October 28, they have ironed out technical glitches primarily in the connectivity with the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW)’s overseas employment certificate (OEC) validation system.

The system is a database sharing information that would allow the BI access to DMW’s OEC records, lessening paperwork for departing OFWs. Said system is integrated in the BI’s system, allowing immigration officers to search and view the OFW record corresponding to the OEC presented.

Apart from faster processing, the system also allowed BI officers to immediately verify and intercept fake OECs upon presentation by illegal recruitment and human trafficking victims.

“This e-system has truly been instrumental in the improvement of services of both the BI and the DMW for OFWs,” said Tansingco. “We thank DMW Secretary Susan Ople for the partnership in improving services for our kababayans,” he stated.

He added that majority of the technical glitches previously encountered have been resolved, and they are in continuous communication with the DMW regarding improvements they can implement on the system.

The most recent one, he stated, was the issuance of the DMW of a QR code that would allow OFWs to access their records, which have been integrated in the BI’s system.

He shared that they have allocated about a third of their counters to prioritize OFWs at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

“We expect an influx of OFWs traveling to the country this holiday season,” said Tansingco. “Hence we want to make sure to give them the best and most efficient service, so they can spend more time with their families,” he added.

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