THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) has placed on heightened alert its personnel to prevent any attempts by terrorists and illegal aliens in entering the country during the All Saints' Day break and in preparation for the Asean Summit meetings next month.
BI acting spokesperson Grifton Medina said immigration officers in all international airports and seaports nationwide have been instructed to be doubly strict and vigilant in screening travelers.
"Our officers were told to refer for secondary inspection foreigners who have doubtful purposes in entering the country and those who have questionable travel documents," Medina said.
Departing Filipino tourists would also be thoroughly screened to ensure that they are not victims of human trafficking and illegal recruitment, he added.
"Commissioner Morente has also alerted our personnel assigned to border crossing stations in Mindanao and Palawan to coordinate and team up with other agencies such as the navy and coast guard in policing our backdoors in the South," Medina said.
In light of the heightened alert status, Medina said BI Commissioner Jaime Morente has already barred employees assigned at the ports from taking a leave of absence starting October 29 except for valid reasons. (YJG/SunStar Philippines)