Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente
(Ali Vicoy / MANILA BULLETIN)
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced the launching of a state-of-the-art, biometrics-based system for its computers in all international airports to modernize its operations and upgrade its capability to thwart the entry of undesirable aliens into the country.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente disclosed that for two weeks now, BI personnel at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) have been using the new software, called the border control information system (BCIS), in processing all international passengers entering and exiting the premiere ports.
“A major feature of this new system is that aside from speeding up the processing time for passengers, it is also capable of detecting attempts by undesirable aliens, such as wanted fugitives and terrorists, to enter the country even if they come in as impostors or in disguise,” Morente said.
He explained that the BCIS software requires computers to be equipped with cameras and finger scan device that all passengers lining up for immigration inspection must go through every time they travel in or out of the country.
“Each time a passenger’s face is captured by camera and his fingers scanned, the results are automatically cross-matched with the passport image and images in the BI database where personal details of persons with derogatory records are stored,” the BI chief added.
According to BI port operations division chief Marc Red Mariñas, the BCIS is also interconnected with the database of the Interpol and the Australian immigration department, thus individuals who are in these agencies’ wanted list will be caught if any of them attempts to enter the country.
“With this system, the use of fraudulent travel documents and disguising one’s physical appearance will soon become inutile,” Mariñas said.
Mariñas also revealed that the BCIS was previously pilot-tested in several airports in the provinces.
In fact, he said the new system first became operational in the airports of Mactan-Cebu, Clark, Kalibo, Davao, and Laoag before it was introduced at the NAIA.
Mariñas stated that the new system is now being used in all international ports nationwide.
- Published in Top Stories