The Bureau of Immigration (BI) ordered its rank and file employees to strictly observe health protocols amidst the recent upsurge of Covid-19 cases in the country.
A memorandum issued by Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente directed the bureau’s employees, especially personnel assigned at the ports and those rendering frontline services in offices, to ensure the proper wearing of face masks and face shields while on duty.
Morente said employees who disobey the directive by not following health protocols will be investigated and meted appropriate disciplinary actions.
Aside from wearing protective gear, BI employees were reminded to practice social distancing and hygiene in their workplace by frequently washing their hands and using alcohol.
The bureau’s general services section was likewise directed to conduct regular disinfection of the agency’s offices. “I have ordered our Administrative Division to conduct daily inspection to ensure that health protocols are strictly observed,” he stated.
It was learned that several BI employees, including officers assigned at the airport, have recently contracted the virus amid reports of a spike in Covid-19 cases in Metro Manila and other parts of the country.
BI employees told to observe strict health protocols amid rise in Covid cases
Employees who have come into contact with Covid-infected people are required to undergo quarantine and RT-PCR testing. “Through the help of partner government agencies, we are able to provide much-needed free testing to our frontliners who have come in close contact with positive cases,” said Morente.
The BI is one of government’s busiest frontline agencies and its port personnel meet face-to-face with international travelers who enter and exit the country.
Its office employees are likewise at risk of contracting the virus as they, too, come into contact with hundreds of persons who transact business and avail of its services daily.
According to Morente, the BI’s Covid Task Force, chaired by BI Deputy Commissioner Aldwin Alegre, has requested vaccine allocation for frontline employees.
“Immigration officers are the first people that travelers come into physical contact with,” said Morente. “Even those assigned in our different offices face a lot of foreign nationals applying for their visas or permits, putting our men at risk of contracting the virus,” he added.
Morente shared that they are also revising and streamlining their procedures to include the new normal.