COMMISSIONER Siegfred Mison of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said Wednesday that they are ready to deploy personnel and equipment to set up an office at the Bacolod-Silay Airport to accommodate international flights.
“The facilities have been in place. More people are being trained. We are just waiting for the international flights to come in. The local government has been very, very cooperative in setting up, and helping us put up our equipment and facilities necessary for international flights. Yes, we are ready," said Mison, who was in Bacolod City for the “BI's Lakbay Ugnayan sa Ika-75 Kaarawan” event.
He added that chartered flights will be catered first at the Bacolod-Silay Airport.
He further said the BI is waiting for the flights to come in because it will be pointless for them to send people if there are no international arrivals.
"It’s really beyond us to set target. It’s really more of a private initiative. It’s really more on how they charter the flights and how they package the tour group," he said, adding that it will be dependent on the initiatives of travel agencies, tour groups, business club, among others.
Mison said their agency will help any initiative to welcome tourists from outside to Bacolod.
Meanwhile, regarding the BI caravan, Mison said that one of their aims is to bring their services to the locals.
“We have to really solicit the participation of local government plus the local media to say and announce to our stakeholders that we are here to provide services and these are the things that you need to do to be in compliance with our immigration law,” he said.
Mison said that close to 500 aliens were deported from the country this year, most of them Chinese nationals, for violation of immigration laws particularly overstaying and working in the country without permit.