MANILA–The Bureau of Immigration (BI) will not allow its employees to take vacation leaves this month.
In a statement, BI Commissioner Jaime Morente has ordered the cancellation of all approved leave applications of employees during the month.
“Pending and would-be filed leave applications will also be disapproved,” he said.
With this, the BI chief noted that the deployment of immigration officers currently assigned at the main office and other field offices to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) terminals and other airports in the country, is only temporary as they will be recalled to their old units after the Lenten break.
Some 170 bureau employees have been deployed in all airports to assist in the immigration processing of arriving and departing international passengers.
The additional manpower were installed in an effort to address the problem of long passenger queues in immigration counters at the airports as the Holy Week holiday break approaches
Morente admitted that the employees’ reassignment will cause a slight slowdown in operations of the offices that they will temporarily vacate.
“I appeal to our rank and file to remain patient and focused on their responsibilities as everything is being done to address their financial plight that resulted from the loss of their overtime pay,” he added.
Earlier, Morente and Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to reconsider his decision stopping the use of the BI’s express lane collections in paying the overtime services of the bureau’s organic personnel and the salaries of its contractual employees.
They both proposed that the overtime pay be temporarily reinstated until Congress enacts a new immigration law that will upgrade the salary scale of BI employees.
Meanwhile, BI Spokesperson Antonette Mangrobang noted that those who have approved leaves are ordered to report to work.
“Those who filed for leaves during the month have to report back to work,” she said.