The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has announced that it will be downgrading its onsite workforce to at least 30 percent starting January 13.
In an advisory signed by BI Commissioner Jaime Morente, the BI said that the reduced workforce will be implemented until January 22.
The move, according to Morente, is in response to the spike in Covid-19 infections plaguing BI offices.
The BI earlier reported a whopping 251 active cases amongst its personnel. Of said number, 135 are assigned at the airport, 91 at the BI’s office in Intramuros, while 25 come from other BI offices.
The BI also reported that a total of 269 of their airport personnel are quarantined and awaiting results of their Covid-19 testing.
“We thank Secretary Menardo Guevarra for considering our plight and approving our request to temporarily downgrade our workforce amidst this surge,” said Morente. “The high number of BI personnel getting sick with Covid-19 is really affecting our operations,” he added.
Morente shared that he sought Department of Justice Secretary Guevarra’s approval to lower the number of onsite employees in compliance with directives from the Palace.
All BI offices shall continue to be open during weekdays, from 7:00 am to 5:30 pm, despite the reduced workforce. According to Morente, employees working offsite shall observe the guidelines for applicable alternative work arrangements as set by the Civil Service Commission.
Immigration offices downgrades worksite capacity to 30%
The advisory also stated that fully vaccinated clients are exempted from the Bureau’s Online Appointment System, upon presentation of their vaccination card or certification. Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated clients are advised to continue securing their appointment online via http://e-services.immigration.gov.ph/.
Registered aliens reporting for the Annual Report 2022 are required to secure an appointment online.
“We hope that the public bears with us as we reduce our manpower during this surge,” said Morente. “Our frontliners are getting sick, but we will make sure that the delivery of our services remain unhampered,” he added.
BI has seen a major increase in the number of Covid cases for its frontliners assigned at the airports and BI offices.
“We’re seeing a record-high number of active Covid cases this past week,” said Morente. “This is alarming and we are doing the best to be able to sustain our operations,” he added.