Officials fail to resolve manpower lack in airports


THE manpower problem that has led to long queues at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and other major airports has not been settled because officials of three agencies failed to thresh out the issues that prompted immigration officers to resign or go on leave.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd on Monday confirmed that he met with Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno and Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente on Friday but they did not reach any agreement on how to resolve the problem.

“We have many points which we have not completely agreed upon. So we would like to seek the good offices of the Office of the President. So we’ll be meeting again and hopefully make a palliative solution to our problem at the immigration at the airport,” Aguirre said.

The unresolved issue in overtime pay has resulted in mass resignations and absences.

The problem was again highlighted on Monday as the number of travelers lining up at NAIA doubled because of the Holy Week break.

Immigration spokesman Antonette Mangrobang said 22 of the 116 immigration officers assigned for first shift duty at the NAIA did not report to work.

Mangrobang said the manpower shortage was addressed after an equivalent number of personnel were pulled out from a temporary pool of immigration officers temporarily assigned to the airport.

The Immigration bureau had earlier deployed an additional 170 immigration officers to the NAIA and other international airports as a temporary measure to address manpower shortage.

Morente had cancelled all approved leaves of BI employees during the month.

The issue on overtime pay of immigration officers stemmed from the President’s veto of the express lane fund (ELF), which in the past had been the source of funding to pay for the services of the bureau’s confidential agents, overtime pay and contractual employees.


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