BI steps up hiring of new immigration officers before travel season peak

MANILA-- Some 70 newly-hired immigration officers have reported to their posts at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) this month, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said on Wednesday.

According to BI Commissioner Jaime Morente, the deployment of new BI workers is just the start of hiring more personnel, which aims to lessen the ordeal of travelers queuing up for long hours during peak travel seasons this year.

Before the year ends, we expect to hire hundreds more immigration officers who will be deployed at the NAIA and other international airports throughout the country, he said in a statement.

Majority of those recruited came from within the BI ranks, particularly former contractual employees who have served the bureau for many years but whose job applications were always bypassed under previous administrations.

This time we made sure that these old-timers, who for so long had persevered in their work as contractual employees, are finally rewarded for their services by including them in our roster of permanent employees, Morente added.

They were recruited to fill up the nearly a thousand immigration officer plantilla items that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) created to address the problem of lack of manpower in the bureau.

Morente noted that the new recruits passed written exams and interviews.

The period between November and April is considered as peak travel season as it is best to travel to the Philippines during the cool and dry seasons and local vacationers often go abroad during holidays during the Christmas and summer holidays.

An influx of foreign visitors into the country is also usually observed this same period as nationals from North America, Europe and northern Asia prefer to vacation here to escape the harsh, cold winter climate in their home countries.

Source: Philippine News Agency