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BI personnel barred from taking leaves from March 24 to April 15 due to Holy Week

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Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Norman Tansingco said its port personnel are barred from going on leave for three weeks to ensure that adequate officers are available to serve the traveling the public before, during and after the Holy Week break.

Tansingco said the ban on leave, which starts on March 24 and ends on April 15, applies to BI employees assigned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and all the other international ports nationwide.

During the said period, he said all applications for vacation leaves, and applications for authority to travel abroad by any BI employee assigned at the ports will not be entertained nor approved.

“We are constrained to implement this leave ban to make sure that our service to the traveling public are not interrupted or compromised during the Lenten break when there will surely be a sharp upsurge in the number of passengers who will enter and exit the country,” Tansingco said.

Noting that the influx of international passengers is not only expected at the NAIA but in the other major ports such as Mactan, Clark and Kalibo, Tansingco said:“We have to see to it that our immigration booths at the airports are fully manned in order to cope with the long queues of passengers who will be arriving from or leaving for abroad to spend time with their families and relatives.”

BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval said that based on statistics, the combined volume of international passengers who arrive and depart from the country is now averaging more than 30,000 daily compared to only about 6,000 to 9,000 daily in March 2022s ince the Philippines reopened its borders to foreigners in March last year.

She also said that like all other countries globally, the Philippines also experienced a serious drop in international travel volume when the pandemic struck in March 2020.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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