Home PHL News BI Implements Leave Ban to Ensure Smooth Operations during Holiday Season

BI Implements Leave Ban to Ensure Smooth Operations during Holiday Season

No holiday break for BI port personnel

MANILA – In a move to ensure seamless operations during the bustling holiday season, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) has announced that personnel assigned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and other ports of entry across the country will not be allowed to take leave from November 15, 2023, to January 15, 2024.

BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco emphasized the need for adequate manpower during this period, which witnesses a significant upsurge in passenger traffic. With Filipinos abroad, especially overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and Balikbayans, flocking back home to celebrate the holidays with their loved ones, the airports and seaports experience a remarkable influx of travelers.

To ensure the smooth processing of passengers, Tansingco stated that no vacation leave applications would be entertained or approved during the 60-day period. The ban extends to all BI port personnel, encompassing NAIA, Clark, Mactan, Davao, Kalibo airports, and the Zamboanga international seaport.

“The aim is to ensure that our airport counters are fully staffed during the holiday season when there is a tremendous volume of international passengers arriving and departing,” Tansingco explained. By having fully manned immigration counters, the BI anticipates facilitating quick and efficient immigration processes, minimizing delays and inconveniences for travelers.

The decision to implement the leave ban comes as the BI has already witnessed a steady flow of arriving and departing passengers before the Undas holiday break. From January to October 2023, over 20 million passengers have arrived or departed from the country, with expectations of a significant surge in numbers during the final two months of the year.

By proactively addressing the staffing needs and preparing for the influx of travelers, the BI is taking essential steps to ensure that the holiday season is met with seamless operations and efficient service at the country’s ports of entry. (Isabel Almonte)