MANILA — The Bureau of Immigration on Thursday said it was reviewing the discretionary power given to its officers in clearing Filipinos leaving the country.
During the justice department's budget deliberation at the House of Representatives for next year, Davao de Oro Second District Rep. Ruwel Peter Gonzaga said the immigration bureau was "examining whether or not to reduce the discretion of the officers given the power."
"For example, there is an immigration officer who will decide on the primary inspection whether or not the traveler, the tourist passenger, the overseas Filipino worker, the balik manggagawa will be subjected to secondary inspection," said Gonzaga.
"The purpose of that (review) is to reduce the discretion of the immigration officer with regard to the said guidelines," he added.
The lawmaker also disapproved the proposal to charge to the BI's immigration fees the payment of damage to offloaded travelers.
The Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking in August suspended new guidelines that would have tightened the rules for exiting travelers.
Video from PTV
In a separate televised briefing, BI Spokesperson Melvin Mabulac said it would not tolerate any unlawful act after a personnel of the Office for Transportation Security (OTS) was found swallowing allegedly stolen money.
"Medyo iba 'yung nature ng trabaho but sa immigration [but] we are ensuring the public na very strict ang direktiba ng komisyoner to ensure na ang lahat ng trabaho ay ginagawa nang tama," said Mabulac in a televised briefing.
"We will not tolerate any illegal activity na gagawin ng ating mga tauhan," he added.
OTS administrator Mao Aplasca earlier said the female airport screener was removed from her post following the incident. He said the screener denied that she stole the money.
The incident happened on September 8 and authorities secured the CCTV footage on September 14.
Earlier this year, several OTS personnel were tagged in an alleged extortion incident.