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Bureau of Immigration people banned from making TikTok videos

OFFICIALS and employees of the Bureau of Immigration ( BI) are prohibited from posting TikTok videos of themselves while in uniform dancing, singing or performing other acts.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said the bureau is strictly enforcing its regulations on the wearing of the BI uniform, whose integrity must be upheld at all times because it represents the institution of the Philippine immigration service.

”Our policy on the wearing of the BI uniform is clear. As public servants and supposed model Filipinos, employees must proudly wear their uniform at all times, present a professional image to the public and observe proper decorum and good taste in all their actions while they are on duty at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and other airports and seaports in the country,” Morente said.

He added that the posting of such videos on social media by BI employees undermines the reputation of the bureau and creates a negative image for the agency’s personnel, especially the frontline immigration officers assigned in the ports of entry.

The BI chief further warned that by taking such videos of themselves when they are at work, BI employees are violating a standing directive prohibiting the use of mobile phones and other electronic gadgets while they are on duty, as well as the Bureau’s social media policy.

The BI’s Internal Social Media Policy states that “BI personnel must adhere with the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees with respect to their actions online, and to desist from behaviors that would bring disrepute to public service”.

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All employees were likewise ordered to “observe proper decorum on social media to protect the integrity of the agency”.

The ban came after several videos of airport immigration officers on Tiktok surfaced online. The BI chief described the videos as “reckless” which belittle the image of the bureau.

He warned that employees who defy the ban may be charged administratively for insubordination and conduct prejudicial to the interest of the service.

A video-sharing social networking service, TikTok is a media platform that allows users to create short videos of themselves, oftentimes featuring music in the background.

Users can make a variety of short-form videos, from genres like dance, comedy, and education, that may last up to 60 seconds. They can also film short lip-sync videos to popular songs.

By Willy M. Balasa