THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) has heightened alert during the observance of Holy Week.
This is in anticipation of the increase in arriving and departing passengers.
Commissioner Jaime Morente said all airports and seaports have been instructed to ensure that they are properly manned, to be able to service the expected rise in travelers.
“Historically, the number of passengers really rises during holy week and other such long breaks,” said Morente.
“This year as the country reopens its borders, we expect that the numbers will again rise,” he added.
The BI earlier projected around 12,000 to 14,000 daily arrivals for April.
“This number could actually increase during the holy week, and we’ve made sure that our personnel are on full force to ensure smooth and efficient processing of passengers,” said Morente.
Morente addressed an online article saying that there were long lines at the immigration area in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 last April 5.
Morente clarified that their counters are fully manned to process arriving passengers.
“Upon investigation, we found out that there was barely any line at the immigration area,” said Morente.
“There are a lot of agencies and entities processing passengers at the airport, and at times there is confusion as to which agency is in charge of certain procedures,” he added.
BI Port Operations Division Chief Carlos Capulong said that the BI’s electronic gates are already fully operational in time for the peak season, allowing man-less processing of arriving Filipinos, with processing time as low as eight seconds per passenger.