March 29, 2017
DBM CREATES 887 NEW POSITIONS FOR BI’S NEW PORT OPERATIONS DIVISION
True to his word, Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) facilitated and approved the request of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) for the creation of a new office with 887 new positions needed in the discharge of the BI’s mandate to monitor and regulate the arrivals and departures of locals and foreigners. The creation of 887 new positions is a big step towards the goal of providing a sufficient personnel complement to support the BI’s operations in the ports.
Previously operating as a mere ad hoc unit in the existing BI Immigration Division, the new Port Operations Divisions (POD) will be in charge of all immigration functions, including the supervision and manning of 420 immigration counters at various international ports and/or sub-ports. The POD will have an additional plantilla of 887 positions for immigration officers and immigration assistants on top of the existing 1,203 positions. The creation of new positions will increase the immigration officer and immigration assistant positions in the BI by 74%, and will require an estimated Personnel Services cost of P365 million to be charged against the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund under the FY 2017 General Appropriations Act.
Early this year, the DBM committed to assist the BI in addressing the effects of the direct veto by the President which prohibited the use of Express Lane Funds for the salaries of the BI’s Job Orders (JOs) and Confidential Agents (CAs), and the benefits of the BI’s personnel. Acknowledging the important role performed by the immigration officers in ensuring public security and safety, Secretary Diokno promised to extend every assistance that the DBM can in organizing the BI’s organizational units and personnel complement to address its operational requirements.
The BI represented that it needed additional positions to man the ports and sub-ports nationwide, but due to fiscal constraints, only 1,000 new positions can be created in FY 2017. Subsequent creation of additional immigration officer positions under the POD will be determined after an assessment of the impact on the BI operations of the creation of the 887 positions. The DBM already created 49 new positions for the BI’s Administrative and Financial Divisions in the previous month. With the creation of the POD and initial 887 new positions, the BI’s JOs and CAs may now be absorbed if qualified. Secretary Diokno hopes that these changes will greatly improve efficiency in the BI and, ultimately, the delivery of services to the public.
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