BI issues new arrival, departure cards for travelers

MANILA The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has issued new travel cards for international passengers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

According to Commissioner Jaime Morente, the forms, which were released July 1, aim to improve the monitoring of foreigners and also to ensure the safe departure of Filipinos.

The information that we collect in our arrival and departure cards is vital in improving our alien monitoring and mapping, as well as gathering added information to ensure our departing kababayans' safety, he said in a statement Thursday.

The BI chief added that the issuance of new travel cards is also part of the continuing efforts to improve the services to the traveling public.

These improvements will have a big impact in the border management efforts of the Bureau, said Morente.

For his part, BI OIC Deputy Commissioner Marc Red MariAas noted that the distribution of the new travel cards to the different airlines commenced early this month.

He added that copies of the newly-printed cards are now available at the immigration arrival and departure areas of all three terminals of NAIA.

In the new cards, passengers are asked to write their full name, nationality, passport number, contact number, flight/voyage number, purpose of trip, occupation, port of exit/destination, and their address here and abroad.

Travelers are also required to sign and declare that the information written in the card is true, correct and complete.

The use of arrival and departure cards has been a universal practice of immigration departments in many countries as it is considered essential to document passengers for border management and compiling passenger statistics.

They are regarded as a legal document used to obtain information from travelers which are not provided in their passports and provide additional record of a person's entry and departure to and from a particular country.

Every arrival and departure card is surrendered by a passenger to the primary immigration inspector upon his arrival or before his departure.

Meanwhile, the head of the Bureau's Port Operations Division disclosed that the old arrival and departure cards were phased out due to observations that it did not provide sufficient information about a traveler who enters or leaves the country.

The BI intends to finish soon the distribution of the new cards to different international airports and seaports throughout the country such as Mactan, Clark, Kalibo, Davao, and Zamboanga. (PR)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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