E-gates pilot testing at NAIA departure area set this week

MANILA The two electronic gates (e-gates) which have been installed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2's departure area will be pilot tested this week, an official of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said on Tuesday.

"These were installed last Sunday, and we plan to use these within the week," Immigration Port Operations Division chief Grifton Medina told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Earlier, Medina said the two e-gates are prototypes given by a manufacturer, which means it is at no cost to the government. The prototypes will be tested so that the BI could fix glitches if any.

He said the e-gates at the departure area will initially be only for the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and crew, noting that they have the lowest risk in terms of assessment because they have been already screened by the Overseas Workers Welfare Association and the Department of Foreign Affairs.

The prototypes should be for the frequent flyers and those who are pre-screened, he reiterated, adding that the BI does not compromise border security.

Having the e-gates also addresses congestion at the airport. It only takes 10-15 seconds to pass through an e-gate, compared to the 45 seconds one would spend at a regular counter.

Currently, the Philippines has 21 e-gates to cater to arriving Filipino passengers 13 are at NAIA, three each in Cebu and Clark, and two are in Davao.

The BI plans to install another 20 e-gates in the departure areas of NAIA Terminals 1 and 3 next year. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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