PASAY CITY, the Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Thursday (July 19) started the four-day random testing on actual passengers of its Electronic Gate System (E-Gate) project at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3.
This aims to fine-tune the program and the machines before its official launch on Monday (July 23).
BI Deputy Commissioner Tobias Javier the project is expected to relieve passengers of the hassle of queuing in manual counters as the machines would cut processing time of passengers from the present 45 seconds to just 8 to 15 seconds.
The electronic gates are provided with modern security features such as facial recognition, biometric scanning, barcode reading, and smart card recognition which will help immigration officers to detect passengers with derogatory records as well as those who are in the immigration blacklist, watch list and hold departure list.
BI, however, explained that the electronic counters are initially open for Filipino passengers with machine-readable passports (MRP). Meanwhile, senior citizens in wheelchairs and other handicapped travelers and children will still have to go through the regular counters.
A total of 11 e-gates will be installed at NAIA Terminal 1 and Terminal 3. The other five will be installed at the Mactan international airport in Cebu; three at the Clark international airport in Pampanga; and two at the Davao International Airport before the year ends. – Joan Nano / Marje Pelayo