BUREAU of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Jaime Morente disclosed on Friday that the bureau has implemented a major reshuffle of some 139 personnel in all major airports and seaports nationwide.
This latest revamp affected officers and supervisors assigned at the three Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) terminals and the international airports of Mactan-Cebu, Kalibo, Clark and Davao.
Also transferred were key personnel of the international seaports in Zamboanga and several border crossing stations in Palawan and Mindanao where immigration officers are deployed to strengthen border security in the country’s southern backdoor.
“We intend to continually implement this job rotation scheme for our immigration officers not only as a deterrent against corruption but, more importantly, to develop their skills as gatekeepers of our country,” Morente said.
The immigraton chief explained that by reassigning immigration officers to other ports and exposing them to other work functions, they will be able to enhance their potentials as civil servants.
“This rotation policy intends to provide new challenges to our personnel as well as prevent fraternization among airport personnel which has been pinpointed as a major source of corruption not only in our bureau but in other government agencies as well,” Morente said.
He added that he instructed Marc Red Mariñas, acting chief of the BI’s port operations division, to periodically rotate the assignments of the bureau’s airport and seaport personnel.
Most largely affected by the reshuffle was the BI’s travel control and enforcement unit (TCEU) at the NAIA, since manpower movement was from top to bottom.
The TCEU personnel are the ones who defer the departure of Filipino travelers suspected of being victims of human trafficking and illegal recruitment pursuant to the guidelines set by the Department of Justice.
Immigration officers are responsible for conducting immigration formalities for all international travelers entering and exiting the country.
They are considered as the BI’s frontline employees as they are the first Filipinos that foreign visitors come into contact with upon arriving in any of the country’s ports of entry.
Earlier, Morente issued personnel orders re-assigning to the NAIA some 30 immigration officers who were recalled from their posts at the BI main office and other field offices throughout the country.
A new batch of 40 newly hired immigration officers were also assigned at the NAIA to augment the number of personnel manning the immigration arrival and departure counters at the premiere port.