The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has decreased its workforce to at least 30 percent starting Thursday, due to a spike in coronavirus infections among its employees.
In an advisory, Commissioner Jaime Morente said the reduced workforce will be implemented until January 22.
The BI earlier reported that there are 251 active cases amongst its personnel. Of the number, 135 are assigned at the airports.
A total of 91 workers were at the BI’s office in Intramuros, while 25 came from other BI offices.
A total of 269 of their airport personnel are quarantined and awaiting the results of their Covid-19 testing.
“We thank Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra for considering our plight and approving our request to temporarily downgrade our workforce amidst this surge. The high number of BI personnel getting sick with Covid-19 is really affecting our operations,” Morente added.
The BI chief said he sought the approval of the DOJ chief to lower the number of onsite employees in compliance with directives from Malacañang.
All BI offices shall continue to be open during weekdays, from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., despite the reduced workforce.
Morente said employees working offsite shall observe the guidelines for applicable alternative work arrangements as set by the Civil Service Commission.
The advisory also said fully vaccinated clients are exempted from the Bureau’s Online Appointment System, upon presentation of their vaccination card or certification.
Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated clients are advised to continue securing their appointment online via http://e-services.immigration.gov.ph/.
Registered aliens reporting for the Annual Report 2022 are required to secure an appointment online.
“We hope that the public bears with us as we reduce our manpower during this surge. Our front-liners are getting sick, but we will make sure that the delivery of our services remain unhampered,” Morente said.
Source: Philippines News Agency