BI backs NAIA rationalization plan

MANILA The Bureau of Immigration (BI) expressed preparedness for the rationalization plan for the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), which aims to improve air traffic and lessen congestion in the country's premiere international gateway.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente expressed support to the rationalization scheme proposed by the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), noting that it will help further improve the bureau's services to the traveling public.

We are confident that with this scheme our immigration officers will be able to more efficiently perform their jobs of conducting immigration formalities for international travelers, he said in a statement.

It will then be easier for us to determine how to deploy our personnel to the airport based on the needs of each of the two NAIA terminals, the BI chief added.

BI port operations division chief Marc Red MariAas, for his part, said that they already have an operational plan in place starting August 31, when the rationalization scheme is set to be implemented.

He noted that more than half of the 500 BI personnel presently assigned at the NAIA will be assigned to Terminal 3 where the bulk of international flights will be serviced, while the rest will be deployed to Terminal 1.

Under the plan, NAIA Terminals 1 and 3 would be designated for international flights while Terminals 2 and 4 would be for domestic.

MariAas added that some 20 unused immigration booths at NAIA 3's arrival area will also be operational, to prevent long queues that have always inconvenienced travelers.

We also plan to install 70 additional workstations at Terminal 3 in anticipation of a sharp increase in passenger volume, he said.

Our present departure area, which is very small, will also be expanded to accommodate more immigration booths that will cater to departing travelers, the BI official added.

Only five airlines will be left at Terminal 1 while 19 other airlines will relocate to Terminal 3.

Terminals 2 and 4 will be used exclusively for domestic flights service.

Source: Philippine News Agency

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