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AI being explored in BI operations

THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) is currently exploring the use of artificial intelligence (AI) for its operations.

Commissioner Norman Tansingco said that inf act, BI heads recently attended a biometrics conference in Montreal, Canada to benchmark technology trends for the Philippines.

Tansingco said he firmly sees the need to modernize immigration systems to be at par with international counterparts.

Too, he has continuously pushed for the approval of the proposed immigration modernization law, which updates the country’s 83-year-old Philippine Immigration Act.

The conference, dubbed as the 18th Symposium on the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Traveller Identification Programme (TRIP) and Joint International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) Biometrics forum was attended by the BI Chief last September 12-14 to study and adopt global trends on immigration and border management.

The BI chief he also attended a meeting with Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and viewed the facilities of the Vancouver International Airport.

In the said conference, Tansingco said that he saw how AI can improve immigration processing by adding a layer of security.

AI technology, he said, can be used to detect impostors and falsified documents even before they reach immigration counters.

“Naglalakad palang sila, makikita na ng AI kung may suspicious documents or activities sila. AI technologies are expected to provide facial recognition and document matching features,” he said.

Tansingco also clarified that AI will not replace immigration officers, but instead unburden them from the manual processing to maximize the BI’s manpower.

The technological advancements, including the expansion of the BI’s e-gates will significantly improve the BI’s operations, he said.

“Currently we are doing manual processing, and it takes 45 seconds per passenger. The e-gates can decrease processing time to as low as 8 seconds,” the BI chief added.

Due to the limited airport space, Tansingco said technologies such as e-gates are necessary to lessen queueing time.

“If you notice, immigration areas of other countries are massive, hence they are able to place more personnel or gates. Here, we have limited space, so we need these technologies to make things faster,” he stated.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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