No holiday break for BI port personnel

Personnel of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) assigned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and all other ports of entry nationwide were not allowed to go on leave from Nov. 15, 2023 to Jan. 15, 2024 to ensure adequate manpower before, during and after the Christmas holiday season. BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco on Thursday said during the 60 days, no application for vacation leave would be entertained or approved. 'This is the time of the year when there is always an upsurge and influx of passengers and other international ports as Filipinos abroad, mostly overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), Balikbayans or former Filipinos, would spend the holidays with their families or relatives here,' the BI chief said in a statement. He added that the ban covers all BI port personnel, such as those deployed at the NAIA, the airports in Clark, Mactan, Davao and Kalibo, and Zamboanga international seaport. 'We have to see to it that our counters at the airports are fully manned during the holidays when there is a tremendous volume of international passengers arriving and departing at the airports,' Tansingco said. He added that fully manned immigration counters would facilitate the quick and efficient immigration processing of passengers. On the other hand, the BI chief reported that the influx of arriving and departing passengers has already begun even before the Undas holiday break. From January to October 2023, more than 20 million passengers arrived and departed the country. The number is expected to significantly rise during the last two months of the year. Source: Philippines News agency