Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco has ordered that no vacation leaves be allowed during the Christmas season, to ensure that adequate manpower is available to serve the traveling public, noting the expected surge in passenger volume.
The ban on vacation leaves will cover the period of from November 15, 2022 to January 15, 2023 and all BI officers assigned in the different international ports.
Tansingco said the prohibition is being implemented to ensure the uninterrupted delivery of services by the BI to international travelers who are expected to enter and exit the country in large numbers before, during and after the Christmas break.
According to the BI chief, passenger volume at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) has already started to peak not only due to the approaching holiday season but in view of the gradual easing of restrictions imposed on foreign and Filipino travelers during the pandemic.
He said the ban on leave by BI port personnel aims to avert long queues at the airports during the Yuletide season when there is always a significant increase in passengers who enter and exit our country.
“This is always the season when the services of our immigration officers are most needed in the airports. This is a sacrifice we have to make to serve the traveling public,” Tansingco said.
It was learned from BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval that the leave ban applies to all BI employees assigned not only at the NAIA but also in the other international ports such as those in Mactan, Clark, Davao and Kalibo.
Except for medical and emergency reasons, no application for leave by any BI port personnel will be entertained or approved while the two-month leave ban is in effect, Sandoval said.
Aside from BI officers assigned to the airport’s immigration counters, a special team of BI officers is always on standby to augment and assist in processing arriving and departing passengers, she added.