BI to set up e-gates at NAIA for departing OFWs

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 9) – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) will set up electronic gates (e-gates) for overseas Filipino workers (OFW) at the departure area of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) before Christmas.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said that the pilot testing of the e-gates will be at the NAIA Terminal 2.

“The new lanes shall cater only to departing OFWs in order to ensure smoother and faster processing of these Filipinos in recognition of their contributions to the country’s economic development,” said BI in a statement.

BI said that the e-gates at the departure area will “hasten processing and reduce passenger queues in immigration counters at the country’s premier port during the holiday rush.”

The agency also set up last year e-gates at the arrival areas of all NAIA terminals as well as in Mactan-Cebu International Airport, Clark International Airport, and Davao International Airport.

Immigration Port Operations Division chief Grifton Medina said that the pilot testing of the e-gates would last for six months. The agency expects to process 100,000 passengers before the project becomes fully operational.

Singapore-based information technology company Ascent Solutions will shoulder the expenses for the project.

Medina said that other passengers will continue to undergo regular immigration inspection but he said that the agency is studying the possibility of setting up e-gates for permanent residents and other Alien Certificate of Registration identity card holders.