The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has approved the hiring of at least 1,000 personnel for deployment to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and other airports in the country amid overtime-pay and salary issues.
In a radio interview on Wednesday, Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Benjamin Diokno said successful applicants will be trained as Immigration Officer 1 with a monthly gross pay of P19,000.
According to Marc Red Mariñas, BI Port Operations chief, the government is willing to upgrade the Immigration Officer 1 salary from Salary Grade 11 to Salary Grade 16, which has a gross pay ranging from P28,000 to P30,000.
The salary upgrade would surely attract possible applicants, Mariñas said.
He added that some 40 newly hired personnel are attending immigration basic crash course and will be sent by the first week of July to the NAIA.
Mariñas said another 60 will soon start their training next week and could be deployed at the end of July to the country’s premier airport.
Last week, the bureau conducted examinations and interviews in Davao and Cebu.
Marinas said they will dispatch 50 personnel to Kalibo, 50 to Cebu-Mactan, 50 to Clark International Airport and 50 to Davao.
There are some 867 BI personnel holding positions at different airports nationwide including the 628 officers at NAIA.
At least 123 BI personnel are needed for NAIA.
Mariñas said before the overtime-pay issue erupted, the number of immigration officers had dwindled and 40 employees had resigned.
According to him, a new Immigration Act could resolve the overtime-pay and salary issues.
Since January this year, operations at the NAIA were affected by a “mass leave” of hundreds of BI personnel assigned to the premier airport over unpaid overtime pay and reduced take-home pay.
President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the suspension of overtime pay, saying the overtime pay of BI employees at the airports is bigger than their basic salary.