5 Things You Didn’t Know About the Philippine Bureau of Immigration
With the new age digital media, we’re always quick to cry foul whenever any mundane thing is out of place or even just slightly underwhelming. To tell you the truth, there are also hard working men and women behind desks who dedicate their lives to slowly help improve our country.
For this feature, we wanted to say thank you and recognize some of the hard working people in the Philippine Bureau of Immigration!
The role of Immigration Officers (or “IOs”) is to ensure that immigration laws are enforced. IOs are known to be strict in enforcing their policies, but little do we know about their lives and the nature of their job. Here are 5 things you might not know about the Bureau of Immigration.
5. The Bureau of Immigration is as old as your lolo…
The Philippine Immigration Act was enacted in 1940 during the presidency of former President Manuel L. Quezon. It was initially a sub-unit of the Bureau of Customs, until it was transferred under the Department of Justice. It was formerly known as the Commission of Immigration and Deportation. Last September, the Bureau of Immigration turned 74 years old.
…but is young-at-heart.
The bureau recently hired almost 400 fresh new faces, in their bid to augment their manpower needs. The youngest Immigration Officer is only 20 years old, straight out of college!
4. They have a real-life Police Academy.
Minus the slapstick comedy, the Bureau of Immigration has its own academy. The Philippine Immigration Academy, located in Clark, Pampanga serves as the training grounds for would-be immigration officers. Applicants must be a graduate of any four-year course, and must be Civil Service Eligible before they can be considered for the position. These aspirants undergo several months of grueling training on immigration laws, personality development, and customer service in order to serve the country with patriotism, integrity, and professionalism.
3. Immigration Officers come from different backgrounds, different places, and from all walks of life.
Thousands of people apply to become an Immigration Officer, which is seen as one of the most coveted jobs in the country. Applicants hail not only from Metro Manila, but also from different provinces. Immigration Officers come from all walks of life—the daughter of a pirated DVD vendor, a beauty queen from Bicol, a blackbelt martial artist, a teacher and tricycle driver from Benguet, and a former domestic helper—all underwent rigorous training to become the officers they are today.
2. Immigration Officers have the duty to deny undesirable aliens.
Although aliens like E.T. are nice and seemingly desirable, Immigration Officers must deny their entry because they are undocumented. IOs have the duty to protect the Philippines from foreigners with criminal records, with insufficient or fake documents, from aliens who are likely to become a public burden, and those with malicious intent.
Immigration laws started only in 1940, but Filipinos have constantly been protecting its borders through other measures. Lapu-lapu is deemed as the first Filipino Immigration Officer, as he valiantly fought the Spanish colonizers when they first attempted to occupy the Philippines.
1. Immigration Officers are often strict and serious… but once in a while, they do let loose as well! And they can definitely dance!
BI CARES PROGRAM LAUNCH (FLASH MOB)
So there you have it, 5 cool things you may not know about the Philippine Bureau of Immigration.
Do you know anyone who works there? Share this story and say thank you to the hard working people of the Philippine Bureau of Immigration.