THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) has cut down its office hours after the discontinuance of payment for overtime fees of its employees from the express lane fund (ELF). Under the revised guidelines on working hours, BI offices will be opened for business from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily instead of 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. It took effect on Wednesday. President Duterte earlier vetoed the use of the ELF collected by the BI to augment the salaries of employees and its contractual workers. Express lane charges are additional cost paid by foreigners who wanted to fast track the processing of their documents. In the past the BI workers were allowed to use the express lane charges for overtime pay. Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente advised the public, including its accredited travel agencies and law offices, to familiarize with the new schedule as he assured of “steadfast in [our]commitment to deliver fast and efficient services to the public.” He added the BI will continue to implement “no-noon break” policy for employees manning its frontline services.
WILLIAM B. DEPASUPIL