By Jun Ramirez

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has reshuffled its officials holding key positions at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and two other airports as part of management’s thrust to revitalize operations.

MB FILE - Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente (Ali Vicoy / MANILA BULLETIN)

Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente

Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said the latest revamp affected 12 senior officers assigned to the travel control and enforcement unit (TCEU) whose members are responsible for conducting secondary inspection of passengers arriving and departing.

“I have issued the personnel orders designating new officers who will supervise the TCEU not only at the NAIA but in the airports of Mactan and Iloilo as well,” Morente said.

“This is just the initial wave of a thorough revamp that we shall implement in our airports in the coming days,” he added.

Morente observed that many of the officers who were relieved or replaced as a result of the reshuffle have been in their posts for more than two years.

He said “it is time to give others a chance to assume the responsibility of overseeing our operations at the airports.”

He stressed that immigration officers at the airports perform a critical role in securing the country’s ports from the entry of undesirable aliens and stopping the departure of suspected human trafficking victims.

BI port operations chief Grifton Medina said the revamp also aims to prevent fraternization in the workplace, which has been pinpointed as one of the major sources of corruption in the agency.

Maria Timotea Barizo, who was designated overall TCEU head, said that her new post is “challenging, yet (they are) committed to ensure that they perform their duties to protect our kababayans from human trafficking and illegal recruitment.”

Morente bared that the next wave of reshuffle will involve more key officials at the airports.