The Bureau of Immigration (BI) will deploy an additional 100 personnel at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) to cope with the expected influx of passengers in connection with the observance of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.
“At least 100 newly trained personnel from the BI’s Travel Control and Enforcement Unit [TCEU] will be assigned to assist officers manning immigration booths at Naia Terminals 1, 2 and 3,” said Marc A. Red Mariñas, Naia chief immigration officer.
He added 200 more personnel will be on standby to prevent long lines at immigration booths “because we’re expecting the number of air travelers to increase this year.”
He directed the supervisors of the three terminals to prepare their men for the holiday exodus in line with the government’s “Oplan Undas 2017” program.
“The TCEU supervisors are tasked to oversee immigration operations and administration in their assigned terminal and coordinate with other law-enforcement agencies for the efficient implementation of anti-trafficking, illegal recruitment and other related laws,” Mariñas added.
The preparations include stricter security measures at all terminals to ensure the safety and convenience of passengers going to and coming from Manila in the observance of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.
Authorities have installed cameras in each immigration counter to capture images of all departing and arriving passengers.
“The measure, initiated by the BI, covers all local and foreign passengers, as well as international airline pilots and crews,” he said.
The captured images of individuals will be automatically transmitted to the immigration servers and will link to international servers for future references or to identify a person with derogatory records for possible arrest.
The bureau’s intelligence personnel and experts in profiling of individuals are on standby at the arrival and departure immigration areas, while Customs agents would help them in providing information about individuals they monitored, Mariñas said. Meanwhile, the Manila International Airport Authority (Miaa) is also preparing plans to assist immigration officers in managing the queues in their area so they can maximize use of their people to process arriving and departing passengers of international flights.
In a statement, the Miaa said: Coordination has been made with airlines regarding the efficient processing of their passengers, especially at the check-in counters, while additional airline personnel will be deployed as needed to accommodate the increase in travelers.
Concerned government agencies operating at the airport—including the Office for Transportation Security, and the Bureaus of Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine—have been directed to deploy sufficient personnel at their stations to ensure smooth passenger flow.
Security and traffic will be closely coordinated among the Airport Police Department (APD), the Aviation Security Group (ASG) of the Philippine National Police, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the local government units of Parañaque City and Pasay City.
Both the APD and the ASG will be assigned to secure the immediate premises of the airport by means of, among others, K9 units.
The MMDA and local enforcers will be stationed along major roads leading to the terminals to guide vehicular traffic.
The Miaa said travelers are also reminded not to bring prohibited items to the airport and to stow all belongings in one’s carry-on baggage for faster processing at the screening checkpoints. The authorities have also encouraged passengers to make use of airline check-in kiosks to hasten check-in procedures.