THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) disputed a recent social media post that went viral showing long lines at the immigration area at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 on the evening of 24 February 2023.
The post claimed there were only three counters open which assisted hundreds of passengers and according to Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco, it was verified with the BI-NAIA T3 management that 21 immigration officers were on duty during that period, to process 15 flights with a load of approximately 3,900 passengers.
While the BI has maximized its manpower complement, the issue of long lines remains a worldwide concern as countries open up its borders, Tansingco said.
“We are thankful to the Manila International Airport Authority for committing to increase the space allocation for the immigration area in the next few months. We are likewise grateful for the support of the airlines in studying flight schedules to minimize overlapping of flights,” the BI chief added.
“On our end, the BI commits to explore the use of additional electronic gates to lessen processing times. The e-travel portal for departing passengers will likewise be launched in March, which will decrease paper-based forms for passengers,” Tansingco further stated.
Meanwhile, BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval said that for overseas Filipino workers, Overseas Employment Certificates (OECs) will soon be integrated in the e-travel portal for their convenience.
She said that departing passengers are reminded to check in at least three hours prior to their flight, and are advised to proceed directly to the immigration area upon check-in, to experience a more seamless travel.
Sandoval also assured that the BI remains committed in providing the most efficient, innovative, and effective immigration service.