Photos in immigration card hit-A A +A
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) arrival-departure cards hit the news again for bearing not the picture of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, but for having the advertisements of a well-known beauty clinic, hotel, and a mall.
With this, the bureau is looking to cancel the contract entered into by the previous administration in connection with the printing of the A/D cards being distributed to in-bound and out-bound international passengers.
Immigration officer-in-charge Ronaldo Ledesma earlier ordered a review of all the contracts entered into by the previous government to determine which are truly beneficial to the country.
“We need to find a better way of printing these cards without extra expense from the bureau, but we also need to follow due process to fix this problem,” he said.
Ledesma said aside from the costs shouldered by the bureau to capture data from the cards, another issue is the contractor’s apparent failure to clear with the BI the advertisements placed on it before printing.
But in the government's agreement with e.Xtend, Inc., it allows the contractor to solicit advertisements to generate revenues. In 2009, the BI entered into the 15-year exclusive contract with the company.
The cards recently caught the headlines after Aquino saw his picture printed on them, while on his way to attend the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York last month.
He immediately ordered the removal of the picture from the cards. The cards were eventually pulled out from the airports and airline offices.
Last Tuesday, a new set of cards appeared at the Ninoy Aquino International Airports (NAIA) bearing the advertisement of Belo Medical Clinic, at the front, while Microtel and SM Mall of Asia ads were at the back of the card. (FP/Sunnex)