BI intercepts 3 women at Clark Airport for misrepresenting age

Marje Pelayo   •   June 22, 2021   •   296

PAMPANGA, Philippines — Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers at the Clark International Airport (CIA) intercepted three women who tried to conceal their age by wearing dark lipstick.

According to BI Commissioner Jaime Morente, the three females who attempted to depart for Doha, Qatar to work as household workers were barred from leaving the country after being caught misrepresenting their age.

All three who hailed from Cotabato were referred by primary inspection officers after they doubted their age.

Travel Control and Enforcement Unit (TCEU) officer Pedro Reynaldo III in his report said upon inspection, all three claimed to be 28 or 29 years old.

They presented documentation showing their assumed age but during the interview, the three gave inconsistent statements about their personal details.

“The latter confirmed that they misrepresented their age to be able to work as household service workers abroad,” said Morente.

“They admitted that they are only in their early 20s, and were given instructions by their recruiter to wear dark lipstick to make themselves appear older than they really are. They were told by their recruiter not to fall in line with older passengers so as not to stand out, and were instructed to never admit their real age,” said Morente.

The BI chief said such is a clear “case of human trafficking wherein unscrupulous individuals would victimize young women for personal gain.”

The three were referred to the CIA Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for further investigation and assistance in filing charges against their recruiters.

BI personnel reminded of policy vs posting TikTok videos in uniform

Robie de Guzman   •   October 25, 2021

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Monday warned its personnel anew against posting videos of themselves performing acts while in uniform.

In a statement, the BI said that officers assigned at the international airports should strictly comply with the directive banning them from posting videos of themselves dancing or singing while on duty, particularly on video-sharing network service TikTok.

In a memorandum to all BI port personnel, Immigration port operations chief Atty. Carlos Capulong warned that employees defying the ban will face administrative cases for insubordination and misconduct.

Capulong said BI Commissioner Jaime Morente has ordered him to investigate reports that some bureau employees assigned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) continue to post videos on TikTok which were taken while they were on duty and wearing their official uniform.

“I was instructed by Commissioner Morente to hold these errant employees liable by forwarding their cases to our board of discipline for investigation and filing of the appropriate administrative cases,” he added.

The BI personnel were also reminded to strictly observe the ban on the use of cellular phones and other electronic gadgets while on duty.

Capulong said the TikTok videos of BI employees in uniform could not have been taken if the latter were not on duty at the time, thus it is obvious that they had their mobile phones and gadgets with them.

It was in December last year that Morente first barred BI employees in uniform from posting on TikTok, saying the act denigrates the bureau as an institution and unbecoming of government employees who should always conduct themselves with professionalism and integrity.

“Our policy on the wearing of the BI uniform is clear. As public servants, employees must proudly wear their uniform at all times, present a professional image to the public and observe proper decorum and good taste in all their actions while they are on duty,” Morente said in a memorandum.

He stressed that such acts undermine the BI’s reputation and create a negative image for the agency’s personnel, especially its frontline immigration officers.

Immigration personnel barred from engaging in political activities – Morente

Robie de Guzman   •   October 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Tuesday reminded its employees to refrain from actively engaging in partisan political activities whether offline or on social media.

In a statement, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said that employees are prohibited from campaigning actively and soliciting votes and support for their election bets as mandated by the law.

“This election season, as public servants, we are expected to remain politically neutral as this is mandated by law,” he said.

The 1987 Philippine Constitution defines election campaign or partisan political activity as “any act designed to promote the election or defeat of a particular candidate or party to public office.”

Morente also said that the mere wearing of shirts, caps, or pins showing the names and faces of the candidates is prohibited according to advisories from the Civil Service Commission and the Commission on Elections.

“This shall cover all our employees, whether they are permanent, or contractual,” he added.

He also reminded BI employees to “adhere to the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees with respect to their actions online, and use good judgment in sharing information.”

Morente warned that officers found engaging in partisan political activities will be penalized with one month and one day suspension to six months for the first offense.

Immigration bureau reshuffles 341 NAIA personnel to curb corruption

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has reshuffled 341 personnel of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

These personnel will be reporting to their new terminal assignments as part of the agency’s continuing campaign to curb corruption.

Aside from BI officers manning NAIA’s immigration counters, the agency will also rotate the terminal assignments of 77 immigration supervisors assigned at the airport.

BI acting port operations chief Carlos Capulong said Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente has approved the  implementation of the rotation scheme at the premiere port on October 3.

“This will be the last rotation of our NAIA personnel this year as the next reshuffle will be implemented during the first quarter of 2022,” Capulong said.

Morente previously announced that the Bureau is fast tracking the recruitment of nearly 200 new BI officers who will be deployed to NAIA and other major ports early next year.

This is in response to the need of the agency to field more immigration inspectors after the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said it was considering to raise the daily cap on passenger arrival, and reopen other airports to international travel. AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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