(File photo)

MANILA – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Friday said it is set to augment the number of personnel conducting primary inspections of international travelers arriving and departing at the country’s premiere port.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said 63 newly-hired immigration officers will be deployed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

The personnel are set to finish next week their month-long training on immigration laws, rules, and procedures at the Philippine Immigration Academy in Clark, Pampanga.

“We are confident that the deployment of these new immigration inspectors will help address the perennial problem of lack of manpower of BI personnel,” he said in a statement.

The 63 personnel are among the 195 newly-hired employees of the bureau.

The next batch of new BI officers will begin their training at the academy right after the first batch of trainees are deployed this July.

BI acting port operations chief Carlos Capulong said the hiring and deployment of the new immigration officers is very timely since there is a steady and continuing increase in the number of passengers who arrive and exit the country daily.

He reported that from only an average daily arrival of 4,000 to 5,000 passengers, when the Philippines reopened its borders to foreign tourists, the volume increased to 17,000 to 20,000 arrivals per day.

“We foresee a further uptick in our passenger arrivals and departures in the coming weeks as the travel and tourism industry continues to rebound and recover from the negative impact of the pandemic,” Capulong said. (PNA)