BI moves to eliminate ‘corrupt’ image

Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - September 5, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Employees of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) are undergoing moral formation and values reorientation seminars to improve their work attitude in order to eliminate the agency’s image of corruption.

BI officer-in-charge Siegfred Mison said there is goodness in every person as he expressed hope of instilling the values of patriotism and positive thinking among BI workers.

“I believe that everyone is good, they are not just given the right guidance. So we would give them all the tools to show them goodness,” Mison told The STAR.

For the seminar, which is part of the bureau’s 73rd anniversary celebration, Mison invited motivational speakers Chinkee Tan and Alex Lacson of Kabayanihan Foundation Inc. to inspire the employees.

“We should be better than last year and we should be better than the other Bureaus of Immigration of other countries. We want to be better as each year passes,” Mison said.

He said the seminars would be done regularly as he noted that the greatest asset of any organization is its personnel, not the funds or its facility.

“Inspiring personnel to do every little thing they can, empower and get them involved, will make them responsible public servants,” he added as he recalled the bureau’s three core values of patriotism, integrity and professionalism.

In the seminar, employees were also taught to strengthen their patriotism and love for country.

Through these efforts, Mison hopes to change the image of the bureau, which had been criticized for being a corrupt agency.

But in 2012 and 2013, BI is no longer included in the Civil Service Commission (CSC)’s list of top 10 corrupt agencies.

Apart from instilling reforms in its 1,700 personnel, the bureau had also cut down the processing time of documents.

“We were able to get a grade of 87 in the anti-red tape survey conducted by the CSC because we streamlined the process. If there is a longer process, there is chance for more irregularity in the transaction,” Mison said.

In two years’ time, the BI will introduce online visa processing and payments. It will customize software programs to suit the bureau’s online system.

The online system is expected to bring convenience for applicants as they no longer need to go to the BI office. They could process their visa application or visa extension from their homes or offices.

Mison assured the BI personnel that there would be no layoff once the online system in implemented, as those affected would be given other tasks.

In line with its anniversary celebration, the BI has lined up programs for four successive Saturdays of this month.

On Saturday, Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. will keynote a program at the BI main building.

Mison said Jimenez would discuss the importance of meeting the target in tourist arrivals in the country.

Mison and Jimenez are set to attend a tourism exposition in Korea in order to attract more Koreans to visit the country.

BI spokesperson Ma. Angelica Pedro said a sports fest, tree-planting activity and an outreach program at the Hospicio de San Jose would be part of the BI anniversary celebration.

ANGELICA PEDRO BUREAUS OF IMMIGRATION CHINKEE TAN AND ALEX LACSON OF KABAYANIHAN FOUNDATION INC CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION EMPLOYEES OF THE BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION MISON MISON AND JIMENEZ ON SATURDAY SAN JOSE SIEGFRED MISON
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