Airport immigration staff told to be more patient with unruly aliens

MANILA -- The Bureau of Immigration (BI) personnel at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) should be more patient and restrained in dealing with unruly foreign passengers, an official said Monday.

In a memorandum, BI Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. reminded the airport immigration officers of the bureau's "BI Cares" program, which aims to extend "courteous, accountable, responsible, and efficient service" to the traveling public.

"All are directed to observe a professional and service-oriented behavior in handling with passengers/clients, and refrain from making unwarranted remarks," David said in a memorandum order to the BI airport operations division.

He issued the admonition after complaints reached his office about some immigration officers who are condescending when dealing with passengers who argue or utter unpleasant remarks.

Reports alleged that the alien passengers are oftentimes turned away and excluded after arguing or having heated altercations with immigration officers.

But David cautioned the BI employees against outrightly excluding passengers for simple misbehavior as such acts do not pose a threat to public safety.

He said immigration officers must be more prudent in excluding aliens on the ground of unruly behavior or discourtesy.

David stressed that for such acts to constitute a basis for turning away an alien, it must be of a "severe nature" where the alien's behavior has become uncontrollable and intolerable.

Among others, he said immigration officers should exclude aliens who are drunk or under the influence of illegal drugs and other intoxicating substances.

Also to be excluded are foreigners who employ violence against fellow passengers and BI personnel as well as those who resort to harassment and intimidation. (SDR/Sunnex)

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