No leave, no Lenten Break for BI Port Personnel

Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers assigned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and other major airports, were prohibited from going on leave during and after the Holy Week to ensure adequate personnel are on hand to serve the traveling public during the Lenten break.

In a memorandum, Port Operations Division Atty. Carlos Capulong said that all applications for vacation leave for the period April 7th until April 15th are deemed disapproved.

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Also canceled, are applications for authority to travel abroad by any employee assigned at the airports.

Capulong said the directive, which was affirmed by Commissioner Jaime Morente, was issued in anticipation of the influx and exodus of large numbers of international travelers that usually happen during the Lenten season.

“Normally, there is always a rise in the volume of arriving passengers before the Holy Week and increase in number of departing passengers after the Lenten break,” Capulong said.

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He explained it is imperative that the continues to operate at full work capacity at the airports, or its services to the passenger public will be compromised.

Capulong also observed that the number of arriving passengers at the international ports continued to steadily climb since the country opened its borders to foreign tourists last month.

No leave, no Lenten Break for Port Personnel

Aside from the NAIA, international flights are also served at the airports in Mactan, Clark, and Davao.

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Statistics show that passenger arrivals at the airports are now averaging between 13,000 to 15,000 daily since a week ago, compared to only 6,000 to 9,000 a month ago.

Last April 1st, the government decided to open the country to all foreign nationals, provided they comply with immigration entry requirements and prescribed health protocols.

Holy Week in the Philippines is a significant religious observance for the country’s Catholic majority, the Iglesia Filipina Independiente or the Philippine Independent Church, and most Protestant groups.

One of the few majority Christian countries in Asia, Catholics make up 80 percent of the population, and the Church is one of the country’s dominant sociopolitical forces.

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