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BI airport ops inspected by IACAT

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AN inspection was made by the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) on immigration operations.

Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Norman Tansingco shared that immigration operations at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 were presented to the IACAT.

The inspection, conducted by Department of Justice Undersecretary and IACAT in-charge Nicholas Felix Ty, aimed to review procedures on departure formalities as part of the inter-agency’s regular assessment.

During the inspection, the IACAT confirmed that the BI is implementing the same procedures as it has been implementing in the past.

Earlier this week, the IACAT released the revised guidelines on departure formalities to streamline requirements for departing Filipinos.

Tansingco reiterated that the new guidelines poses no additional requirements for departing tourists.

“In the updated guidelines, regular tourists are only required a passport valid for at least 6 months, a valid visa if visa required, a boarding pass, and a confirmed round trip ticket,” said Tansingco.

He stressed that the guidelines lists down requirements for other categories of departing Filipinos, as well as those who may undergo secondary inspection.

“As in the past, only Filipinos that are subjected to secondary inspection due to red flags may be required to show additional supporting documents, which are now specified in the guidelines,” said Tansingco. “The new guidelines issued by the IACAT would ensure that immigration officers look at specific requirements and not require frivolous documents which could later be a cause for complaints,” he added.

The IACAT previously highlighted the importance of the guidelines in protecting departing Filipinos from human trafficking and illegal recruitment. The guidelines on departure formalities have been in place since 2012, and was later revised in 2015.

“There is no new policy for departing tourists being implemented by the BI,” Tansingco said. “Departing tourists need not worry,” he stressed.

The IACAT is an interagency body chaired by the DOJ, co-chaired by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Some of the member agencies are the BI, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Information and Communications Technology, Department of Tourism, Department of Migrant Workers, Commission on Filipinos Overseas, National Bureau of Investigation, and the Philippine National Police. Also members of the council are non-government organizations International Justice Mission, Coalition Against Trafficking of Women-Asia and the Pacific, and Blas Ople Policy Center and Training Institute.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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