BI downscales operations, concentrates manpower in NAIA terminal 1

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 29 2020 02:07 PM

Operations building attendants use alcohol to sanitize different areas of Ninoy Aquino International Airport-Terminal 1 in Paranaque City on March 11, 2020. The teams make alternate sanitation rounds every 30 mins in zones where travelers converge, 24 hours every day. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) said Sunday it is concentrating its manpower to Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 amid the flight cancellations by airlines and travel restrictions implemented due to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

"Starting today, we are relocating our offices and operations at Terminals 2 and 3 to Terminal 1 where all flights to and from NAIA shall take place," BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said in a statement.

Morente said the decision to downscale was meant to minimize the hazards faced by Immigration officers. 

"This would enable our personnel to lessen the risk of getting infected by this virus," said Morente.

According to BI port operations division chief Grifton Medina, all Immigration officers assigned at NAIA’s three terminals have been instructed to report for duty at terminal 1 until the resumption of normal flight operations.

Earlier, the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) said all its operations will be moved to terminal 1 in compliance with the travel restrictions imposed under the ongoing enhanced community quarantine in Luzon.

Starting March 28, Gulf Air, Korean Airlines, Asiana Airlines, China Airlines, Hong Kong Air, Eva Air, Japan Airlines, Jeju Air, All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines and Royal Brunei will operate from Terminal 1, the MIAA said.

The Immigration bureau said it assigned a skeletal workforce at the NAIA to maintain "uninterrupted delivery of immigration services to the travelling public."

The entire Luzon was placed under lockdown until April 12 that restricted land, air and sea travel to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The Philippines, as of writing, has 1,075 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 68 deaths and 35 recoveries.