Thursday, 28 May 2009

Philippine immigration bureau speeds up airport processing

JUN RAMIREZ
Manila Bulletin
http://www.mb.com.ph/node/202315

Arriving and departing passengers can now experience faster processing of their papers at the airport as the Bureau of Immigration launched Tuesday the new machine-readable arrival/departure card (A/D card).

"The new A/D card will help the BI have an accurate, timely and efficient recording and retrieval of the arrival and departure record," said Commissioner Marcelino C. Libanan who led the launching of the A/D card at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3.

The new A/D cards will allow passengers to write the required information in the cards and the hand-written information would already be recognizable by computers. Through this new system, BI would do away with the encoding of information, which makes the processing of travel documents longer and more tedious.

"The new A/D card will likewise help us effectively track the movement of people who are likely involved in terrorism, human trafficking, drugs and arms smuggling, and other transnational crimes," said Libanan.

"The launch of this card is likewise very timely, because this will help us accurately identify and locate any passengers afflicted with a dangerous disease," the BI chief added.

The shift to the machine-readable arrival/departure cards is another component of Libanan’s program to cut processing time in the bureau to give better services to the people.

Anti-fraud division chief Simeon Vallada said the machine-readable arrival/departure cards gets rid of at least one step in the processing of travel documents of arriving and departing passengers.

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