Bureau of Immigration- Holy Week Alert

Bureau of Immigration on Holy Week alert

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) alerted its personnel in all the international airports and seaports nationwide to maintain the highest state of alert as the whole country begins its observance of the Holy Week.

In a memorandum, BI Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. instructed the agency’s immigration supervisors to thoroughly screen all arriving and departing international travelers.

They were also directed to immediately turn away foreigners who may be profiled as public charges or deemed as threats to national security, public health, and safety.

They shall be excluded and booked on the first available flight to their port of origin,” the BI chief said in his memorandum.

David also ordered the immigration officers to be extra cautious in clearing overseas-bound Filipino tourists to ensure that victims of human trafficking and illegal recruitment are not able to leave.

“Those with questionable travel documents and who purpose in traveling abroad is doubtful shall be subjected to secondary inspection,” he said.

David also reminded the immigration officers to be extra careful in checking if a passenger is in the immigration blacklist, watchlist, lookout, and hold departure list.

Atty. Ma. Antonette Mangrobang, BI spokesperson, said David’s directive aims to prevent smugglers of illegal aliens and human trafficking syndicates from taking advantage of the Holy Week break to spirit their victims in and out of the country.

“This shows that we are resolute in keeping the country off-limits to undesirable aliens,” she said, adding that it also sends a signal to members of human trafficking syndicates and illegal recruiters that their victims will be stopped if they try to leave.

“We remain vigilant in guarding our ports even if the rest of the country is focused on observing a very solemn and important religious occasion,” Mangrobang said.

She added that immigration officials at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) were also directed to ensure the smooth and orderly implementation of immigration formalities due to the expected influx of passengers during the holidays.

A March 25, 2013, press release from the Bureau of Immigration.
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