THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers assigned in the different international ports are prohibited to go on leave to ensure that adequate manpower is available to serve the traveling public during the Christmas season.
In a statement, Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco said the ban on vacation leaves from November 15 to January 15 was implemented to ensure the uninterrupted delivery of services by the BI to international travelers, who are expected to enter and exit the country in large numbers before, during and after the Christmas break.
Tansingco bared that passenger volume at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) have already started to peak up not only due to the approaching holiday season, but in view of the gradual easing of restrictions imposed on foreign and Filipino travelers during the pandemic.
He said the ban on leave by BI port personnel aims to avert long queues at the airports during the Yuletide season, when there is always a significant increase in passengers who enter and exit our country.
“This is always the season when the services of our immigration officers are most needed in the airports. This is a sacrifice we have to make to serve the traveling public,” the BI clChief added.
According to Atty. Carlos Capulong, BI Acting Ports Operations Chief, the leave ban applies to all BI employees assigned not only at the NAIA but also in the other international ports such as those in Mactan, Clark, Davao, and Kalibo.
Capulong said that except for medical and emergency reasons, no application for leave by any BI port personnel will be entertained or approved while the two-month leave ban is in effect.
He also disclosed that aside from BI officers assigned to the airport’s immigration counters, a special team of BI officers is always on standby to augment and assist in processing arriving and departing passengers.