Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Norman Tansingco ordered the reorganization of the agency’s Travel Control and Enforcement Unit (TCEU), which has now been reclassified from a unit under the Intelligence Division and elevated to a section under the Office of the Commissioner.
According to Tansingco, the I-PROBES is tasked to continue its policy of departure formalities for departing Filipinos, and are also ordered to report to the IACAT any individual found to be facilitating the departure of trafficked Filipinos.
BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval said the move, contained in an order issued last July 21, will ensure direct supervision of the Commissioner to the section tasked to intercept human trafficking and illegal recruitment victims at the borders.
By bringing it under the Office of the Commissioner, there will be increased oversight and direct coordination in addressing trafficking issues, ultimately leading to better protection for departing Filipinos, she said.
“The TCEU was likewise renamed as the Immigration Protection and Border Enforcement Section (I-PROBES), stressing on its role in protecting departing Filipinos from trafficking. The I-PROBES will continue to strictly adhere to the Department of Justice guidelines on departure formalities, ensuring that all necessary precautions are taken to safeguard potential victims,” Sandoval added.
As a result of its dedicated efforts, the Philippines has retained its prestigious Tier 1 ranking in the United States’ Trafficking in Persons report for an impressive 8th consecutive year. This achievement highlights the nation’s commitment to eradicating human trafficking and protecting its citizens from exploitation, she said.