2 airport immigration units now under BI chief’s office

MANILA � Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente on Friday said his office will directly oversee airport operations, particularly passenger inspection in different international airports, as well as the monitoring of suspected terrorists.

He noted that the implementation of internal movement and coordination with other agencies is part of the tightened watch of operations in airports.

In an order issued on August 16, Morente transferred to his office the authority over the Travel Control and Enforcement Unit (TCEU).

The TCEU is in charge passenger inspections in different international airports, and intercepts possible victims of human trafficking and illegal recruitment.

We have transferred the authority over our secondary inspectors, and they shall report directly under my office, Morente said in a statement.

They will serve as my eyes and ears at the airport, he added.

In a separate order, Morente assumed direct authority over the Border Control and Intelligence Unit, which serves as the BI's intelligence arm at the airports and monitors suspected terrorists.

Both units were under the BI's Port Operations Division (POD).

Morente said one of the reasons for the transfer of control and supervision to his office is to avert familiarity that may lead to dishonesty.

Such move will prevent fraternization, which is seen as a risk for corruption. This move will ensure checks and balances are put in place, he added.

Morente reported that they have coordinated with other airport agencies to ensure that the airport immigration area remains sanitized. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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