Manila Philippines – Due to the lack of employees manning the Bureau of immigration, it has been heard that the processing of documents became sluggish at the said office. This prompted passenger to arrive early at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), 5 hours before their scheduled flight to be exact. Because of the 4 terminals at NAIA became overcrowded.
Many passengers have fallen asleep while waiting for their turn, due to the long lines at the booths in the departure area.
It has been reported that staring January of 2017 Bureau of Immigration employees have gone to protest because of overtime pay and allowances have not been given to them. Some had gone on vacation leave while others have resigned. As a result both local and foreign passengers have to deal with delays and long lines at the immigration counters in NAIA.
PAL and Cebu Pacific, the two major airlines urged their passengers to arrive early at the airport, preferably 4 to 5 hours ahead of time to avoid missed flights. These two airlines have been affected the most because they serve the majority of international and local passengers.
NAIA ticket booths would serve passengers 5 hours earlier of the scheduled flights, Cielo Villaluna PAL spokesperson assured, while Cebu Pacific would be serving passengers 3 hours beforehand for international flights.
PAL’s announcement was “recommendatory only” according to Ed Monreal, General Manager of Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA).
Monreal said “NAIA still maintains the three-hour arrival at the airport prior to departure, otherwise, if they arrive much earlier, there would be more congestion at the terminals,” “Majority of airlines open their counters two and a half to three hours before departure,” he added.
Ill effects between BI and DBMs’ conflict regarding the allowances and pay of BI employees got the Tourism Department concerned but Diokno, DBM secretary stood his ground on the conflict between BI officials, saying their demands were unlawful.
Responsibility of Bureau employees should not be held at a halt by resigning and going on leave, Diokno added. He insisted that BI employees ‘ overtime pay and allowances were illegally given, which amounted to four times their basic pay.
In addition an approved provision by the congress last 2017 wherein overtime pay will be covered by proceeds from the express lane fund, was vetoed by Pres. Duterte resulting in the stoppage of excessive benefits. This express lane fund must be deposited to the general fund before they could be used, as appropriated by congress for a specific project, Diokno insisted.
This weekend, 150 personnel would supplement the BI, majority of which are newly hired including division chiefs, the Bureau said.
As the holy week draws closer, BI had bulked up their manpower by 90% in order to keep up with the increase of passengers during this season together with the ASEAN delegates arrival in the Philippines.
An assurance given by the BI to the public stated that mass leave and resignation will not happen.
IOAP and buklod denounced alleged rumors on the issue of non-payment of employees at the NAIA airport, according to the workers union.
A total of 30 personnel from different divisions have already resigned from January up to date, the Bureau said. Reports regarding planned mass leave were also repealed by the BI.- Philstar
Statements by Diokno regarding the situation and wrong information have demoralized the Bureau employees, they appealed Diokno to be truthful and factual.
On the other hand PAL apologized for the delay of flight PR 655 from Riyadh to Manila last Thursday due to an aircraft situation. 388 passengers where deplaned but was given hotel accommodation by PAL and assured that they are doing their best to depart Riyadh as soon as possible.