The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has placed its personnel in international ports nationwide  on heightened alert to enhanced border security during the holiday season.


Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said he has directed immigration officers deployed in the different airports and seaports to exercise extra vigilance in screening arriving and departing travelers.

“This is to ensure that our campaign to thwart the entry of illegal aliens and prevent the departure of trafficking victims is not compromised during this Christmas season,” Morente said.

He again warned the human smuggling and human trafficking syndicates against taking advantage of the holiday rush to spirit their victims out of the country despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Morente cited the cases of foreigners who were recently caught at the airports in Manila and Cebu with spurious documents, such as counterfeit Philippine visas and fake marriage and birth certificates.

He also mentioned the interceptions of suspected trafficking victims at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) wherein passengers, who are undocumented contract workers, attempted to leave with fake travel documents or in the guise of being tourists.

“These tricks will not work as our immigration officers are trained in passengers assessment and detecting fraudulent travel documents,” Morente warned.

The BI earlier announced that it temporarily deployed additional men at the ports to be on standby for the holiday season although it does not expect a major upsurge in the number of travelers due to travel restrictions caused by the pandemic.

Source: Manila Bulletin (