BI to purchase P70-M border control equipment

By Evelyn Macairan, The Philippine Star

Posted at Feb 09 2014 09:05 AM | Updated as of Feb 09 2014 05:05 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Bureau of Immigration (BI) will spend P70 million for the purchase of various border control equipment.

In a statement, Immigration Commissioner Siegfred Mison said the amount, which would be taken from the budget of the Department of Justice, the BI’s mother unit, would be used for the acquisition of state-of-the art devices.

“We will upgrade and modernize our border control system to make sure that our immigration officers are always efficient and proficient in their job as gatekeepers of the country,” he said.

He said they would purchase 220 units of passport readers, 200 units of workstations, 440 fingerprint scanners, 350 high definition Web cameras and 10 document readers, which would be distributed in all airports and seaports nationwide.

Mison earlier announced that the BI would install at the country’s premiere airports 100 biometric machines that would take photographs and signatures of passengers and check the information written on their passports.

The new computers and information technology equipment would replace the “80s technologies” or obsolete computers, including typewriters, being used by BI personnel in processing the entry and departure of foreigners.

Based on the findings of the Commission on Audit, Mison said passport readers at the airports, which were bought in 2008, have to be replaced because they only have a life span of four years.

“A more sophisticated computer system would allow for faster data exchanges between the Philippines and the home country of arriving foreign nationals,” he said, adding that this will result in faster processing and identification of foreign nationals with criminal records abroad.