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BI bans holiday leaves

NOTING how the the influx of arriving and departing passengers has already begun even before the Undas holiday break, Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Norman Tansingco announced that all personnel assigned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and all other ports of entry nationwide have been banned from going on leave starting November 15.

This, he said, is to ensure there is adequate manpower to serve the traveling public before, during and after the Christmas holiday season.

Tansingco said the ban on leaves will remain in effect until January 15, thus no application for vacation leave will be entertained or approved during the said two-month period.

BI records show that from January to October 2023, more than 20 million passengers have arrived and departed the country and the number is expected to significantly rise during the last two months of the year.

“This is the time of the year when there is always an upsurge and influx of passengers and other international ports as Filipinos abroad, mostly overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), Balikbayans or former Filipinos, would spend the holidays with their families or relatives here,” Tansingco said in a statement.

The ban, he said, applies to all BI port personnel, such as those deployed at the NAIA; the airports in Clark, Mactan, Davao and Kalibo; and Zamboanga international seaport.

“We have to see to it that our counters at the airports are fully manned during the holidays when there is a tremendous volume of international passengers arriving and departing at the airports,” the BI chief said.

Fully-manned immigration counters will facilitate the quick and efficient immigration processing of passengers, he added.

“Our kababayans abroad have started to come home while foreigners who wish to visit or reunite with their families in their native lands have also began leaving,” Tansingco said.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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