Philippines beefs up its border control and information system

The new automated system speeds up the processing time at immigration counters from 45-60 seconds per passenger to 20-30 seconds.

By Adrian M. Reodique
Nov. 21, 2016

The Philippines' Bureau of Immigration (BI) has launched its new electronic border control and information system last Thursday (17 November 2016) to strengthen their abilities to thwart the entry of illegal aliens and improve the travel documentation processing system.

According to Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente, the new BI Information System (BIIS) speeds up the processing time at immigration counters from 45-60 seconds per passenger to 20-30 seconds. It can also store more than 320 million arrival and departure records in centralised database.

"Using the highest international standards, we put the ingenuity and creativity of the Filipino to work to produce a system that covers the myriad of migration and border concerns, and links up the many information sources and databases from our own records as well as domestic and international partners," said Morente in a press release.

Besides that, the new system is also equipped with improved security features such as cameras and fingerprint scanners installed in the airports to take pictures of passengers and for biometric verification respectively. It also has ultraviolet and infrared devices which are capable of recognising faces and detecting fraudulent passports and travel documents.

"It is also inter-connected with the Interpol which allows us to access databases and information on wanted fugitives who are subjects of red notices, stolen and lost travel documents, and fingerprints as well," said Morente.

The system will also soon be linked to the databases of the Philippine National Police (PNP), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

Meanwhile, the new automated system now operates in all three terminals of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), as well as with the airports in Clark, Davao, Iloilo, Kalibo, Laoag, Mactan, and Zamboanga.