No more long lines at NAIA with new immigration cards

Posted at 03/01/14 9:05 PM

MANILA -- Travelers going through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) can now enjoy faster processing at immigration counters, with the implementation of a system requiring the use of new immigration cards, which started on Saturday.

Travelers welcomed the new system, noticing that there were hardly any queues at arrival counters during the first day of the implementation of the new system.

Under the new system, only foreigners and Filipino passport holders with immigrant visas are required to fill out immigration arrival cards.
Departure cards will only be filled out by Filipino passengers.

"Sa pagbabagong ito, inaasahan na bibilis ang ating pagpoproseso," Dennis Opina, head supervisor of the Bureau of Immigration at NAIA Terminal 1, said.

The new cards are also simpler and have less data fields. The BI said it only needs details from a passport to determine if the traveler has a standing watch order or hold departure order.

At least 25,000 passengers go through the immigration counters at the NAIA Terminal 1 every day. In the past, the volume of passengers has caused long lines at the airport, breaking the 45-second international standard for processing time.

The new cards, meanwhile, are only among the changes expected at the NAIA, as more than 300 passport reading machines and computers will be installed there this year.

-- Report from ANC