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BI Chief attends Tokyo forum

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Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Norman Tansingco attended the 2nd Tokyo Immigration Forum in Tokyo, Japan last December 12-13.

The two-day forum, which was attended by immigration heads from different countries, including Cambodia, Canada, South Korea, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

Saito Ken, Minister of Justice of Japan, opened the session, while Antonio Vitorino, Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) delivered a keynote speech.

Discussed during the forum were the challenges of immigration control and residency management administration in recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic. Tansingco shared how the pandemic has disrupted the movement of persons during its onslaught, which truly tested the agency’s response as frontliners. He added that as the country traverses the new normal, opportunities for interoperability and modernization have been identified and are being initiated.

Tansingco reported upcoming modernization projects such as installing additional electronic gates, issuing label-free visas and port clearances, automating processes, and introducing online services.

He also highlighted the agency’s drive to update its 82-year-old laws that would incorporate modern concepts to border management.

“The forum was an opportunity to learn about the best practices of immigration agencies worldwide, so we may benchmark improvements in our service,” said Tansingco. “The BI management remains fully committed in finding ways to upgrade the quality of service that we deliver to the public,” he added.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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