THE Bureau of Immigration office at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport is in danger of grinding into a halt should the looming mass resignation of its personnel happens due to the bureau’s non payment of overtime work.
This was disclosed by Marc Red Mariñas, BI Port Operations Division chief at NAIA, in an interview with reporters. He said his office has been receiving numerous reports about the intention to resign of a number of BI officers because they have not been paid their overtime work since January.
Mariñas admitted that he does not have the exact number of employees who are planning to resign but he noted that the number of personnel requesting for certificates used for new job applications is growing. He also reported that at least five organic immigration officers have already left the bureau last month for greener pastures.
This bring to 30, including the 25 contractual personnel from their main office, the number of personnel who have resigned since February.
Mariñas added that some of the regular employees who quit their jobs are lawyers who were fed up from the overtime issue.
Moreover, Mariñas said, an average of 20 BI personnel at NAIA are going on official leave of absence since February. He also said that there are 900 contractual workers who have ceased receiving salaries and overtime pay since January this year, while overtime pay for some 1,600 organic personnel were also stopped.
The non payment of OT work started after Malacañang ordered the transfer of the P1.2 billion Express Lane fee to the treasury, which was the source of their overtime pay. However, it is unclear if the salaries of contractual workers also came from the Express Lane fee.
The Express Lane is a special booth for departing foreigners who were charged in exchange for the speedy processing of their exit or for tourists whose visa had lapsed or for foreigners who had overstayed in the country after the lapse of their visa. The money accrued from this lane is placed in a trust fund and used to pay for the OT work.
However, Department of Budget Management Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno assured that a total of P224.835 million has been appropriated in the Fiscal Year 2017 General Appropriations Act (GAA), specifically for the overtime pay of BI employees.
He stressed that “since there is a specific funding for the overtime pay of BI employees in the 2017 GAA, there is no need to tap into the express lane funds for this purpose.”