Expect long queues at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) as hundreds of its immigration officers have filed for leave, while others have resigned, in the height of President Duterte’s reversal of the agency’s overtime pay policy.
In an interview with reporters on Monday, April 3, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II announced that since January, after scrapping the overtime pay, 32 officers had left the agency. A further 50 more immigration officers expressed intent to leave by filing for 6 months leave, in preparation for the resignation in exchange for new jobs. As of February 17, more than 3,000 officers are out on leave.
This shortage of immigration officers has resulted in long queues and impatient passengers waiting to be accommodated in the country’s biggest airport terminal. Secretary Aguirre also explained that the leave of these immigration officer posts security threat to the country. Aguirre has sought the help of Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr. to find a “palliative measure” to deal with the shortage.
Accordingly, Aguirre understands the problem of these immigration officers, who most receive a monthly maximum salary of 14,000PHP, this is way far from the 48,000PHP with overtime pay these immigration officers get from express lanes in the airport. The new P200 million allocation from the Department of Budget would only give 5,000PHP additional for their overtime pay.