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Wednesday, April 26, 2017 31° Mostly cloudy

Long queues at NAIA—problem tied up with BI staff salaries?

Published

By Jun Ramirez

Long passenger queues at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) will continue to haunt the traveling public during the Holy Week break unless Malacañang acts swiftly on the appeal of Bureau of Immigration (BI) employees for the reinstatement of their overtime (OT) pay.

Operations and flights at the four terminals of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) resume following several cancellations at the height of typhoon Nina. The exodus of travelers continued at dawn of Tuesday. (Jun Ryan Arañas | Manila Bulletin)

(Jun Ryan Arañas | Manila Bulletin File Photo)

The overtime pay was slashed under the 2017 general appropriations act as a result of President Duterte’s veto of a provision allowing the BI to use its collection from express lane charges in paying the salaries of its contractual employees and augmenting the salaries of its organic workers who render OT services at the airports and seaports.

“Time is running out. Many of my colleagues have started to look for other jobs. How can you survive with only P14, 000 monthly take home pay. It’s degrading for someone who prides himself at being the country’s gatekeeper,” said a retiring immigration supervisor at the NAIA 3 terminal.

For three months now, immigration officers at the NAIA had to tighten their belts just to report for work but those who could no longer afford that sacrifice have started to absent themselves from duty or have gone on vacation and forced leaves.

Despite a policy prohibiting them from going on leave during holiday breaks, including Holy Week, there are signs that these unmanned immigration counters will continue to be a common sight at the NAIA in the coming days.

It was gathered that for several weeks now, an average of 10 immigration officers have been absent in the terminals of the NAIA on a given day, resulting in long passenger queues that have alarmed not only airport and tourism officials but also authorities in-charge of the nation’s security.

No less than Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre warned that the continued absence of immigration officers could compromise the country’s national security as there will be lesser gatekeepers who will man our ports and thwart the entry of aliens whose presence here is inimical to the public interest.

Read More: PH security at risk due to shortage of Immigration personnel: Aguirre

He said that more than 30 immigration officers had already retired due to withdrawal of OT pay and 50 others had filed six-month leaves of absence.

The BI is one of the attached agencies of the DOJ.

BI employees appealed to the Palace to reinstate their overtime pay pending enactment by Congress of a new Philippine immigration law.

They also cited the important role that immigration officers will play as Manila prepares to host the summit of leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) scheduled at the end of the month.

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  • maverich

    seems like BI employees got a hold on the media. they are favored in the news, anywhere I go. tsk.

  • Clinton Laker

    ang daming walang trabaho.. palitan na yan.. mga B.i na corrupt

    • Pope Rommell

      tama po, maraming pwedeng ipalit sa kanila.

  • da

    Abusive, corrupt, irresponsible officials and B.I personnel, like other airport employees ( security laglag bala personels) can be replaced, and should have been replaced immediately.
    What is the labor rule on absentism? what are the B.I. officials doing, why are they (B.I. officials) unable to discipline their ranks? such incompetence and sabotage of government facilities should be dealt with immediately. Terminate them all including the erring officials.
    It is very easy get thousands of replacements in a week’s time. Ask the service and labor agencies and providers all over the country. In fact private companies have been doing such sourcing out of short and medium term labor in white and blue collar class for a long time.
    Government may also consider to apply this to all other government institutions, staff its rank with real workers, not the slothful, abusive, parasitic, corrupt, egotistics, irresponsible incompetents masquerading as government workforce but in reality, more like useless burdens.

    • Agree…Its just stamping passport..How hard a job that can be..In full Aircon sitting all day long…Pure Arrogance …Fire them all…They anyway misuse their power. Lots of unemployed Filipinos will value the job

  • Its a lie…They charge Express Lane Fee even for Visa Extension outside Airport as well. BI work, stamping passport and punching numbers is not rocket science they be getting 50,000 pesos per month.

    Its 500 Pesos Express Lane Fee MANDATORY added. They are milking billions. They have become incompetent and lazy that is why cannot work on real salary. Fire them all, there are 1000s who can be replaced by these arrogant workers

  • KSA_PH

    MGA UNUTI NA BI OFFICERS, THE PRESIDENT SHOULD FIRE THEM ALL AND REPLACE THE ALL BI OFFICERS IN ALL INTERNATIONAL TERMINALS WITH THE PHILIPPINE ARMY STAFF.

  • KSA_PH

    PALIBHASA MGA CORRUPT ANG MGA BI OFFICERS NA YAN, DIRETSO NA LANG SA BAKASYON NILA, HUWAG NA CLANG BUMALIK PA. FIRE THEM ALL.

  • KSA_PH

    I AM HOPING THAT ALL BI OFFICERS ABSENT FROM DUTIES SHOULD BE FIRE ASAP! REPLACE THEM ALL. MGA INUTIL AT CORRUPT NA BI OFFICERS.

  • KSA_PH

    KUNG AYAW NIYO SA GOBYERNO DAHIL MABABA ANG SAHOD, MAGHANAPA KAU SA PRIVATE SECTOR NG MALAKING SAHOD MGA GUNG-GUNG.

  • KSA_PH

    KAYUNG MGA BI OFFICERS, HINDI KAU PINILIT NG GOBYERNO PARA MAGTRABAHO, KUNG AYAW NIYO NA RESIGN NA KAYU MGA HAYOP AND CORRUPT NA BI OFFICERS. ISA KAYU SA MGA SALOT SA PILIPINAS PAREHAS LANG KAYU NG MGA DILAWAAN..MGA INUTIL.

  • KSA_PH

    DAHIL SA OT PAY NINYO PAHIRAPAN NINYO ANG TAONG BAYAN MGA INUTIL AT WALANG UTAK. RESIGN NA LANG KAYUN LAHAT MGA HAYOP NA BI OFFICERS WHO ARE ON LEAVE OF ABSENCE FROM DUTY.

  • Hein S

    NINOY AQUINO AIRPORT.

    Always wants to be the WORST IN THE WORLD.

    LOL!!!!!!