Former presidential top aide Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go and Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente led the opening of the two electronic-gates (e-Gates) at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport on Wednesday.
The e-Gates at the Davao airport is the second of its kind in the country; the first e-Gates were set up at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) 3.
Go, who was invited for the launch, underscored the importance of installing the e-Gates at the local airport, saying this would make immigration procedures for Philippine passport holders– especially the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW)–faster and efficient.
He noted that the use of e-Gates will cut immigration clearing procedures from 45 seconds to at least five seconds.
The MIS (Management Information System) used in the e-Gates captures information in the passport, port of origin and date of arrival in the Philippines.
“Malaking tulong ang e-Gates lalung-lalo na sa ating OFWs. Mabilis at maayos (The e-Gates are a big help especially to OFWs. It’s fast and orderly),” Go said in his speech.
Go urged the BI to further modernize its system and equipment as part of the administration’s effort for an effective and efficient governance.
OFW Eva Pechon, who was the first arriving passenger from Hong Kong, went through the e-Gate and beamed when she was cleared in few seconds.
“Makalipay kay high-tech na ta sa Davao airport (I am so glad our airport is already high-tech),” Pechon said.
Overseas Filipino Worker Eva Pechon, who arrived from Hong Kong, scans her passport to pass through the E-Gate at Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City on Wednesday. Former presidential top aide Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go and Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente (first from left) look on. (PNA photo by Lilian C Mellejor)
It was also Pechon’s first time to take the direct flight from Hong Kong to Davao that was launched only last Sunday.
Eric Fernandez, the terminal head supervisor of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) at Davao Airport, said the installation of the e-Gates is part of the agency’s PHP300-million modernization program.
“This system is sophisticated,” Fernandez said, noting that the e-Gates can capture information of people with derogatory records, or those with potential criminal intent. (Lilian C. Mellejor/PNA)