A Bureau of Immigration cashier at Manila’s airport has been commended for honesty after she handed in $10,000 left at her counter by an unknown passenger.
In a press release, BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said Bernadette Velasquez, BI collecting officer at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), will be awarded a plaque of commendation in recognition of her honest deed.
Morente said Velasquez’ act of returning such a large amount of money impressed him so much as “it proved once again that the BI is not bereft of men and women who are incorruptible even if they are experiencing financial difficulties”.
It was learned that the cashier reported and returned the money to her superiors a day after she discovered 100 $100 dollar bills in a brown envelope which the owner had left in front of her counter.
Velasquez, in her report, told how she had asked an Indian passenger who had just paid his fees at her counter if the envelope belonged to him, but he said no.
She then recalled how she could not sleep that night as she was in a quandary about what to do about the money.
The cashier then sought the advice of her former superior in Batangas who suggested that she call her duty supervisor that night to inform her about the incident.
Upon instruction of BI port operations chief Marc Red Marinas, the supervisor told Velasquez to keep the money behind her counter as the owner might show up to claim it.
Then, two days after finding the still-unclaimed cash, Velasquez handed it to her superior at the main office.
The BI has advised the unknown passenger to claim the money at the cash section of the bureau’s main office in Intramuros, Manila, where it is being held for safekeeping.
In April, we reported on another act of honesty after an NAIA taxi driver handed in $3,000 left in his cab.