The Bureau of Immigration (BI) debunked today persistent reports that thousands or hundreds of immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) have resigned en masse or have gone on leave due to the non-payment of their overtime pay.
“So far, only 36 immigration officers have resigned since the start of the year and only a few have gone on leave for various reasons,” BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said, adding that passenger queues at the airport have returned to normal.
Morente disclosed that most of the immigration officers assigned at the NAIA have been reporting for work, citing a report from the bureau’s port operations division that daily attendance of BI’s airport personnel is at 95 percent.
“Despite their financial problems the bulk of our workforce at the NAIA are continuing to persevere and make sacrifices for the sake of the traveling public. I commend them for doing a remarkable job in the face of adversities,” the BI chief said.
Morente said he is confident that a workable solution can be found to address the plight of BI employees relative to the augmentation of their salary. This matter was already referred to the Office of the President for their consideration.
He likewise appealed to the Palace to certify as urgent the bill enacting a new Philippine immigration law to replace the antiquated 1940 immigration act.
He lamented that the basic pay of BI employees are too low that they could barely afford to shoulder the cost of their meals and transportation in going to work.