MORE than 800 new job positions will be opened in the Bureau of Immigration (BI) after Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno approved the establishment of a new Port Operations Divisions (POD) to properly monitor the regulation of arrivals and departures of locals and foreigners.
Diokno approved the BI’s request on Wednesday, which is seen as a “big step towards the goal of providing a sufficient personnel complement to support the BI’s operations in the ports.”
The new POD, with an estimated cost of P365 million, will be in charge of all immigration functions including the supervision and manning of 420 immigration counters at various international ports and sub-ports.
It will be charged against the BI’s Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund under the General Appropriations Act.
Earlier this year, the DBM committed to assist the bureau in addressing the effects of the direct veto of President Rodrigo Duterte that prohibits the use of Express Lane Funds for the salaries of the BI’s job orders (JOs), confidential agents (CAs) and the benefits of BI personnel.
It asked for the approval of additional positions to man the ports and sub-ports nationwide, but only 1,000 was approved due to fiscal constraints.
The Budget department created 49 new positions in February for the bureau’s Administrative and Financial divisions. Subsequent creation of additional immigration officer positions under the POD will be determined after an assessment of the impact on the BI operations of the creation of the 887 positions.