BI augments manpower at NAIA ahead of holiday surge

Marje Pelayo   •   December 4, 2020   •   559

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) is augmenting its manpower at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) this December in view of the expected influx of travelers during the holiday season.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente directed immigration officers assigned at the bureau’s main office and other satellite, extension and field offices in Metro Manila to be deployed at NAIA to render primary inspection duties at the airport’s immigration arrival and departure counters.

“This is a temporary measure that we are taking proactively,” Morente said.

“While we do not expect a major rise in the number of travelers this holiday season, we’d rather err on the side of caution and beef up our deployment,” he added.

The directive comes after the recent update on international travel restrictions by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) which again allowed the visa free entry of balikbayans.

Immigration officers presently assigned at BI offices in Metro Manila are required to comply with the directive.

This order exempts division and section chiefs, seniors and those suffering from serious illnesses.

BI port operations division chief Atty. Candy Tan said she sought the augmentation of immigration personnel at NAIA in anticipation of a slight increase in the number of international flights and volume of passengers in the coming weeks despite travel restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Filipinos, Americans top holiday arrivals

Maris Federez   •   December 27, 2021

PASAY, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Monday reported that Filipinos top airport arrivals for December 2021.

BI data showed that 141,216 Filipinos, mostly overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) arrived during the holiday season, according to a BI statement released December 27.

This was followed by Americans with 12,455 arrivals, Canadians with 2,805, and Japanese with 1,645.

“This is expected since many of our kababayans who are now living abroad wish to spend the holidays here with their families,” said BI Commissioner Jaime Morente.

BI Port Operations Division Chief Atty. Carlos Capulong, meanwhile, said that arrivals for December 24 and 25 doubled compared to last year’s figures.

“Last year, there were only 5,478 arrivals for the two days, while this year, it increased 100% to 11,074 for the Christmas eve and Christmas day,” said Capulong.

“While the numbers are still relatively low, we are confident that this increase will continue until next year, given the government’s aggressive vaccination campaign,” he stated.

Capulong also thanked immigration officers who were on duty during the holiday.

“Our officers sacrifice their time with their families to render their duty and provide service for incoming and outgoing passengers,” said Capulong.

Frontliners were barred from going on vacations during the peak season, the statement said.

41 countries in PH green list; 8 remain in red list — BI

Maris Federez   •   December 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced Thursday (December 16) that it would be implementing the updated policy on the country’s green, yellow, and red lists.

In an advisory, BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said that as approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), 41 countries have been included in the Philippines’ green list.

Included in the green list are: Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, British Virgin Islands, Chad, People’s Republic of China, Comoros Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Falkland Islands (Malvinas), The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Hong Kong (Chinese Special Administrative Region), Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Montserrat, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Rwanda, Saba (Special Municipality of The Kingdom of the Netherlands), Saint Barthelemy, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sint Eustatius, Sudan, Taiwan, Timor-Leste (East Timor), Togo, Uganda, and the United Arab Emirates.

On the other hand, those in the red list are Andorra, France, Monaco, Northern Mariana Islands, Réunion, San Marino, South Africa, and Switzerland.

Countries not mentioned are automatically included in the yellow list.

Morente also said that following the set travel restrictions, those coming from the red list countries, or with a travel history there 14 days prior to arrival to the Philippines, may not be allowed entry.

Only Filipinos in the said red list countries who will be among the government or non-government-initiated repatriation flights or Bayanihan flights may enter.

Meanwhile, general travel policy applies to those coming from green and yellow list countries, Morente clarified.

“Only Filipinos, balikbayan, and those with long-term visas may enter the country, subject to quarantine policies for each list, as implemented by the Bureau of Quarantine,” he added.

P6.5 million worth of Ecstasy pills seized in Pasay City

Robie de Guzman   •   October 14, 2021

 MANILA, Philippines – A shipment of ecstasy tablets from Germany was seized at the Central Mail Exchange in Pasay City, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said.

In a statement, the BOC said the illegal drugs confiscated on Wednesday was estimated to have a market value of P6,570,500.00.

The operation was conducted by the bureau’s operatives at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), in cooperation with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), and the NAIA Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group.

Initial examination of the parcel revealed two improvised pouches, which contained a total of 3,865 hexagon tablets and skull tablets later confirmed as ecstasy tablets.

“The seized illegal drugs are now under the custody of PDEA for case profiling and build up against persons responsible,” the BOC said.

Individuals behind the shipment may face charges for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act 2002 (Republic Act No. 9165) in relation to Section 119 (Restricted Importation) and Section 1401 (Unlawful Importation) of Republic Act No. 10863 otherwise known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA), it added.

 

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