With health and safety protocols in place due to the coronavirus outbreak, Bureau of Immigration (BI) heads find new ways to keep their employees empowered.
According to BI Commissioner Jaime Morente, a pandemic should not be hindrance to personnel improvement.
“Keeping our personnel engaged has a wide-range impact on their productivity and morale. In this time of uncertainty and disruption, it is crucial to keep our frontliners mentally and physically healthy,” Morente said.
Morente then shared that 33 BI personnel underwent a two-month Military Orientation Training (MOT) in June conducted by the Philippine Air Force (PAF) at the Headquarters of the 1st Reserve Center in Villamor Airbase, Pasay City.
The 33 now serves as the pioneer batch of the BI’s 1st Intelligence Security Wing Reserve of the PAF.
According to Morente, the BI is an affiliate reserve unit of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) which ensures the unhampered delivery of service in the borders in times of public emergency.
“This training not only teaches discipline and perseverance, but also underscores the value of patriotism to our employees,” Morente added.
He further lauded Immigration Officers Frederick Lugtu and Romelyn Benavide for being recognized as Leadership and Marksmanship Awardees, respectively.
Meanwhile, Morente shared that members of the Travel Control and Enforcement Unit (TCEU) are also undergoing the TCEU Enhanced Academic Module (TEAM), a two-month long online training designed by the BI’s Center for Training and Research (CTR) to reinforce skills integral in the conduct of secondary inspection at international ports.
“Thirty TCEU officers are set to complete a total of 128 training hours by the end of August,” he said.
BI trains 99 incoming immigration officers
Morente further discussed that aside from the usual skills development lectures, the officers will also be receiving the Integrity, Transparency, and Accountability in Public Service (ITAPS) workshop, one of the major corruption prevention programs hosted by the Office of the Ombudsman.
According to Morente, this is part of the agency’s continuous effort to eradicate corruption within their agency, and improve their services to the travelling public.
The TCEU members will also be receiving mental health lectures including Behavioral Analysis and Anger and Stress Management courtesy of the Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH).
“We are thankful for the support of our partner government agencies in giving lectures that adhere with the changing times. We want our officers to be fully prepared in the field during emergency situations,” Morente said.
The BI’s CTR also reported that 99 immigration officers are also undergoing an almost 3 month-long training. While most of the training will be conducted online, the new batch would stay in a bubble in the Philippine Immigration Academy before deployment. Said training is expected to be concluded by August, and the new batch of officers are expected to be deployed at the country’s airports immediately after.
“We are anticipating the gradual easing of travel restrictions in the country, given our aggressive vaccination campaign, hence the need to beef up our manpower to be able to serve the traveling public,” said Morente.
Morente cited that through these trainings, they are “building a culture of excellence aimed at providing genuine public service.”