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BI vows faster immigration process amid tales of flights missed due to lines

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) over the weekend committed to boosting its electronic gates to lessen processing times at the immigration counters, following a number of social media posts claiming that the long process caused them to be offloaded from their flights.

According to the BI, it is set to improve the immigration process, as it has looked at ways to improve and fast-track the process in the coming months.

“The BI commits to explore the use of additional electronic gates to lessen processing times,” it said in JP Soriano's report on GMA’s “24 Oras Weekend” on Sunday.

“The e-travel portal for departing passengers will likewise be launched in March, which will decrease paper-based forms for passengers,” it added.

This comes after a number of posts circulated online, with passengers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) saying they were offloaded from their flights due to the time needed to go through immigration.

One of the posts was a passenger going to Palau, who said that the lengthy immigration process caused him to miss his flight.

The BI said that it deployed 21 immigration officers on duty during the said period, processing 15 flights with a load of approximately 3,900 passengers.

“While the BI has maximized its manpower complement, the issue of long lines remains a worldwide concern as countries open up its borders,” it said.

“We are thankful to the Manila International Airport Authority for committing to increase the space allocation for the immigration area in the next few months. We are likewise grateful for the support of the airlines in studying flight schedules to minimize overlapping of flights,” it added. — Jon Viktor D. Cabuenas/BM, GMA Integrated News