More CCTVs eyed in airports to prevent another 'pastillas' scheme

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 18 2022 06:34 PM

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MANILA — The Bureau of Immigration on Saturday said it plans to install more CCTVs in airports and improve its organizational structure to prevent a repeat of the "pastillas" scheme, after several of its officers and personnel were dismissed for their links in the scandal. 

Immigration spokesperson Dana Sandoval said since the "pastillas" issue erupted, the agency's leadership implemented changes that addressed "organizational and systemic problems."

"Technologies din po ay inimprove po natin. One hundred percent na po ang secondary inspection areas are now covered with CCTVs pati po iyong transparent ready ang ginagamit po doon sa mga areas na iyon para kitang-kita po and highly visible ang mga activities po ng personnel," Sandoval noted of the changes in airports. 

"Sa atin pong procedures, nandiyan pa rin po iyong strict departure formalities following po iyong Department of Justice guidelines on implementing departure formalities," she added. 

Aside from these, Sandoval said the supervisory powers were allotted in some units. For example, the control and intelligence unit was transferred to the Intelligence Division.

The Intelligence Division will now serve as the "third set of eyes" for the agency "that will serve as checks and balance [unclear] will monitor of the personnel at the airports."

"Well, nakita po natin na talaga namang there was a need to improve in checks and balances sa airport noon bilang supervision was under a single office," she said. 

Under the "pastillas" scheme, some Chinese travellers allegedly entered the Philippines as tourists and later worked for Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations hubs, after paying immigration personnel around P10,000

The grease money was supposedly rolled in bond paper, like the "pastillas" delicacy.