THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) yesterday announced that Filipino travelers arriving from abroad may now use a total of 18 electronic gates (e-gates) already operating in the international airports of Manila, Cebu and Davao.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said that 13 of these e-gates are now operating at the NAIA, with the recent installation of eight of them at Terminals 1 and 2.
The BI started the project with the launching of five e-gates at NAIA’s Terminal 3 three months ago.
Morente also said that a few weeks ago, three e-gates were installed at the Mactan airport in Cebu, as well as at Davao’s airport, where two e-gates now operate.
Morente urged Filipino passengers to use the e-gates upon their arrival so they need not line up at the immigration counters for manual processing by BI officers.
He said queues move faster as the machines only take 8 to 15 seconds to process a passenger.
Meanwhile, BI Port Operations Division chief Grifton Medina asked the traveling public to be patient whenever some of the e-gates encounter technical problems, saying such incidents are normal for new projects that go through “birth pains.”
Medina said the BI’s computer specialists are doing their best to address minor technical issues of the project so that such occurrences that inconvenience passengers are minimized, if not eliminated.
With Itchie Cabayan