BI bares new travel rules for LGU execs, employees

MANILA-- The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has relaxed its rules on the required documents from officials and employees of the local government units (LGU) who will be traveling abroad for leisure or vacation.

In a statement, the BI said that LGU personnel are now required to present a copy of their approved leave application to the immigration officers at the airport, instead of presenting a travel authorization from their department heads.

The agency, however, noted that the new travel rule does not apply to provincial governors and mayors of highly-urbanized and chartered cities as they still have to secure a travel authority from the DILG undersecretary when going abroad, regardless of the nature, purpose and duration of their travel.

The new policy is currently being implemented by the bureau in all international airports and seaports pursuant to new guidelines on travel authority, which the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) issued to local government units and its employees last February.

It added that immigration officers will be requiring the presentation of travel authority from departing local officials and DILG employees if their trip is on official time or business.

For all other purposes, an approved leave application shall be presented to the primary inspector (immigration officer) in lieu of the travel authority, as stated in a memorandum issued by BI port operations chief Marc Red Marinas and airport operations chief Cecille Jonathan Orozco.

On the other hand, city and municipal mayors, vice mayors, provincial vice governors, and city and municipal councilors who will be abroad for more than three months, are still required to secure a travel authority from the DILG undersecretary for local government.

Otherwise, if the duration of the leave of absence of said officials is less than three months, an approved leave application will suffice.

As a general rule, all government officials and employees, elective or appointive, are required to secure a travel authority from the heads of their department before going abroad and they shall present the same to the immigration officer upon their departure.

Last Feb. 10, then DILG Secretary Ismael Sueno issued a memorandum circular entitled foreign travel authority on on-line system of local government and employees that dispensed with the said requirement for certain elective officials and employees of LGUs.

Source: Philippine News Agency

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