BI cuts on-site work force by at least 30% as Covid infections among personnel soar

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THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) has reduced its on-site work force to at least 30 percent starting Thursday after recording a major increase in the number of Covid-19 cases among its frontliners assigned at the airports and BI offices.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said a total of 251 active Covid-19 cases among its personnel have been reported as of Tuesday, with 135 of them assigned at the airports, 91 at the BI’s main office in Intramuros, and 25 come from other BI offices.

A total of 269 airport personnel are also quarantined, awaiting results of their Covid-19 tests.

The reduced work force will be implemented until January 22, according to Morente.

“We thank [Justice] Secretary Menardo Guevarra for considering our plight and approving our request to temporarily downgrade our work force amid this surge,” Morente said.

“The high number of BI personnel getting sick with Covid-19 is really affecting our operations,” he lamented.

Morente said he sought the permission of Guevarra before lowering the number of its on-site work force in compliance with directives from the Palace.

Despite the reduced work force, Morente noted that all BI offices would continue to operate during weekdays, from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

“We hope that the public bears with us as we reduce our manpower during this surge…Our frontliners are getting sick, but we will make sure that the delivery of our services remain unhampered,” Morente assured.