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Aguirre vows salary hike for BI personnel

MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has assured Bureau of Immigration (BI) personnel there will be an increase in their salaries and benefits with the imminent passage of the new immigration law.

“We are earnestly working for the immediate passage of a new Immigration Law. The passage of the law will address some of your concerns, particularly in the compensation and the economic arena,” Aguirre said in a statement yesterday.

Aguirre, however, appealed to the BI employees to persevere in their jobs despite the change in their living standards after the Palace recalled their extra compensation from the express lane fees they used to collect from airport passengers.

“I know that previous events may have dampened the enthusiasm of some of you. I know that a great number, if not all of you, have experienced and have made financial adjustments because of the implementation of certain policies,” he said.

The recall of allowances for BI employees from express lane collections earlier caused long queues at the airports as immigration officers did not report for work.

Still, Aguirre commended the BI for its intensified campaign against human trafficking, which resulted in the Philippines retaining for the second consecutive year its place in Tier 1 of the US State Department’s 2017 trafficking in persons report.

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“Thanks in part to your efforts in combating trafficking in persons, our women and children now feel safer,” he said, as he noted that the Philippines is the only country in Southeast Asia that is in the Tier 1 list.

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