THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Thursday urged arriving Filipinos to use the airport’s electronic gates (e-gates) for faster processing time even after the Undas break.
BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco said e-gates can lessen processing time from the usual 45 seconds to at least eight seconds.
Tansingco noted that 21 e-gates are currently available in major international airports nationwide.
Tansingco made the appeal after the agency noted that out of the total 32,045 passengers who arrived on the last day of October, only 5,210 utilized the e-gates.
He added that upon approval of the BI’s budget, they are planning to increase efficiency by adding more e-gates, and will replace 50 percent of their manual operations by 2026.
“Departures significantly increased before Undas, and we project that arrivals will rise in the next few days after the long holiday,” Tansingco said.
A total of 32,352 departures were recorded on October 31, which could rise to 35,000 daily in the coming days as the holiday season approaches.
Thus, the BI said it has deployed 50 recently trained immigration officers to augment border control operations during the holiday season.
These officers, who recently completed a condensed three-week Border Control Officers’ module, are stationed at key locations, including Cebu, Bohol, Caticlan, and Clark international airports.
Tansingco stressed the need to augment the agency’s workforce during the holiday season as it anticipates around 4 million arrivals and 3.8 million departures in the fourth quarter of this year.
“We are fully prepared for the peak season and are maximizing our manpower to better service the traveling public,” Tansingco assured the people.
Image credits: Nonie Reyes