Home>Editorial>Opinion>Reckless ‘tiktokers’ cost BI dignity; PAL and Air Asia did it again

Reckless ‘tiktokers’ cost BI dignity; PAL and Air Asia did it again

Isko Moreno
Andi Garcia with his bestie Itchie Cabayan and Mayor Isko Moreno

BELATED happy, happy birthday to one of my most loyal besties, Andi Garcia of Police Files Tonite. A friend of very looonggg standing, he gave meaning to a popular ad copy, ‘Subok na matibay, subok na matatag’.

As we shared so many ups and downs in all those many years of friendship, we made the ‘downs’ seem like ‘ups’ by simply laughing them off. I love you, Andoy! Mwahh!!!

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It’s quite a shame that the Bureau of Immigration (BI) had to officially or formally warn its employes against joining the ranks of ‘Tiktok-ers’ while wearing their uniforms.

‘’Tiktok’ came from China. It is a video-sharing social networking service, a media platform that allows users to create short videos of themselves, oftentimes featuring music in the background. With it, 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.

BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval said the BI’s Internal Social Media Policy clearly states that, “all BI personnel must adhere with the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees with respect to their actions online and should desist from behaviors that would bring disrepute to public service” and that “all employees are likewise ordered to observe proper decorum on social media to protect the integrity of the agency”.

According to Dana, the prohibition is meant to strictly enforce the bureau’s 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, no less. This was triggered by videos of airport immigration officers on Tiktok which surfaced online.

I agree that the posting of such videos on social media by BI employees while wearing their uniform, indeed undermines the reputation of the bureau.

Also, by taking such videos of themselves when they are at work, the 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.

At the very least, such behavior is reckless and is bound to create a negative image for the BI, whose personnel are at the frontlines in all ports of entry into the country. If they want respect and dignity and to be taken seriously, they have to earn it.

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Kudos to Philippine Airlines (PAL) for once again living up to its tag as ‘the country’s flag carrier.’

PAL spokesperson Ma. Cielo ‘Diva’ Villaluna said a negative Antigen test result, or alternatively an RT-PCR test, is a requirement of the General Santos local government and as such, the airline is giving its passengers on Manila – General Santos flights an early Christmas treat via free antigen testing. It began December 7 and will last until December 17.

Ms. Diva said that to avail of free antigen testing, passengers must register via PAL’s testing partner’s booking portal at bit.ly/PALHMIRegForm and travelers to GenSan via PAL must be at the Antigen testing center at PAL Gate 3, 1300 Andrews Ave., Pasay City two to six hours before their Manila-GenSan flight. The antigen testing center is open from 12:01 a.m. to 4 a.m. every Monday and Thursday only.

Antigen testing may be carried out via drive-thru or walk-in and passengers are encouraged to arrive at the testing center as early as possible for faster processing. Results are released within 30 minutes and travelers may avail of the free PAL shuttle service to the airport.

Air Asia, on the other hand, showed its appreciation of the selfless service and dedication of our military personnel while serving as frontliners amid the pandemic, by offering them a 20 percent discount on all seats. The special promo may be availed of by members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine National Police (PNP), and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

Spokesperson Steve Dailisan said military personnel may enjoy one-way fares for as low as P2,100, all in and that those interested may get in touch with their respective Public Information Officers. To avail of the promo, code and tickets are available for booking on airasia.com or the airasia mobile app on the following dates: December 11, 2020, December 18, 2020, and January 1, 2021, for travel throughout the holidays until June 30, 2021, with no peak dates.

Congrats to these airline companies. Keep up the good work!!

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Beauty tip— Foods rich in omega fatty acids help stimulate the production of collagen, so load up on salmon and tuna, as well as almonds, cashew nuts, and even avocados. (Source: Dr Rosary May Canay-Diaz of Californian Bloom Aesthetic Institute and Medical Spa /4108424/4669596/09178038240/ 025053987)

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Jokjok (from William Canonigo of San Mateo, Rizal)— Pedro: Doc, tulungan nyo po ako, parang may sakit ako, parang ang bilis ko pong magalit palagi/ Doc: Sige, tutulungan kita. Ano bang problema mo?/Pedro: Kakasabi ko lang di ba? Nakakaasar ka na ha?! Ano ba gusto mo mangyari?Ha?!

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Direct Hit entertains comments, suggestions or complaints. Please have them emailed to itchiecabayan@yahoo.com or text 0917-3132168.