More of them usually come out during the Christmas season.
Foreign nationals must be wary of fake immigration agents who extort and harass victims, Immigration Officer-in-Charge Siegfred Mison said on Thursday. A bigger influx of tourists is expected to enter the country this holiday season, traditionally the peak time of the year for inbound visitors.
Mison advised foreign nationals to verify at the nearest office of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) the identity of the agents they deal with to ensure that they are legitimate officials of the bureau.
“I strongly advise all foreign nationals to be cautious. Verify with the nearest BI office in your area to ensure that all BI agents you deal with are legitimate,” Mison said.
Recently, two individuals who identified themselves as BI agents were arrested in Cauayan, Isabela for trying to extort money from an Indian businessman.
The suspects were identified as Romy Morales and Ramil Veloso, charged with usurpation of authority and robbery extortion before the Regional Trial Court branch in Cauayan, Isabela on November 15.
Mison assured that the illegal scrupulous activities of the fake agents will not affect the image of the “men and women” of the bureau who worked hard and regain the bureau’s image.
“We will not let this incident tarnish the image of the men and women of the Bureau who have recently worked hard to improve and regain,” Mison said in a statement.
On the other hand, the BI will be needed at least 200 additional personnel to augment in all airport and/or port of exits beginning next year.
The bureau has a total of 1, 208 authorized plantilla items, Mison said.
“There is a shortage of personnel at the BI . . . we will request personnel from the [DBM] Department of Budget and Management,” he said.