As a traveler, we understand how important it is to have a smooth and hassle-free journey. It can be frustrating when we encounter long queues and delays, especially when we are in a foreign country. We commend the Department of Tourism for their efforts in strengthening tourism, but we also acknowledge the challenges faced by other agencies, particularly the Bureau of Immigration. It’s crucial that they hire competent staff, especially in their terminals, to ensure that the entry and exit process of travelers is efficient and organized. We hope that the concerned agencies will prioritize addressing this issue to provide a better experience for tourists and travelers.
Some of the recent scandals of the bureau of immigration from Philippines that involve human trafficking, long queues in the airport and many more like passengers being left behind are:
- The “pastillas” scam, where immigration personnel allegedly received bribes from Chinese nationals who wanted to enter the country as tourists but actually worked in Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs). The Department of Justice (DOJ) ordered the dismissal of 18 immigration personnel who were found administratively liable for grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service1. The Ombudsman also charged 43 immigration officials and staff for violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
- The viral rant of a Filipina traveler who missed her flight to Israel after being subjected to a lengthy and irrelevant exit interview by an immigration officer. The Bureau of Immigration (BI) apologized for the inconvenience caused by the incident and relieved the immigration officer from his post pending investigation2. The BI also cited several cases of human trafficking or illegal recruitment that prompted them to implement strict measures to assess departing passengers.
- The alleged involvement of some immigration personnel in a human trafficking ring that facilitated the departure of Filipino women who were recruited as domestic workers in Syria. The BI relieved two personnel who were implicated in a Senate hearing on human trafficking and illegal recruitment. The BI also vowed to cooperate with other government agencies in investigating and prosecuting those behind the syndicate.
How can we improve the travelers experience without compromising security at the airport?
Airports are the gateway to a successful journey, but they can also be stressful. Increased security checks have made it difficult for travelers to move quickly through airports, leading to long queues and delays. However, with the right technology and processes in place, airports can ensure security while providing a better experience for travelers. By optimizing check-in procedures and leveraging modern technologies such as facial recognition and biometrics, airports can provide a smoother experience without compromising security. Door access technology: biometric scanning of people entering and exiting the terminal. Hand-held scanners to scan boarding passes for mobile devices, and text messaging for checked-in bags. Tripwire technologies that detect explosives and dangerous materials in body or luggage such as X-ray machines, millimeter wave scanners, and passive metal detectors. Automated uniform gates that can automatically sort passengers based and most importantly, hire competent front liners who can function accordingly to the expectations of tourism standards .