British deputy envoy hails BI visa services

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — BRITISH Deputy Ambassador to the Philippines Colin Crorkin recently said foreign clients of the Bureau of Immigration (BI), particularly Britons, were satisfied with the services rendered by the staff specially in the processing of visas.

He thanked the agency for instituting reforms in is visa services.

“It seems that customer satisfaction ratings are going up and revenue collection is going up, too, so we thank (Immigration) Commissioner Marcelino Libanan,” Crorkin said at the regular Warden’s Conference organized by the British embassy.

Libanan was guest speaker conference held at the British embassy in Taguig City Friday.

Crorkin encouraged the British wardens to help improve immigration services by recommending reforms that can address the concerns of British nationals in the country.

Libanan received testimonies from some British wardens about their experiences in transacting at the BI, and one of them cited the drastic cut in waiting time for the processing of exit permits from days to a mere half-hour.

Libanan assured that more reforms will be implemented to speed up transactions in the bureau and reinforce the reforms earlier introduced like the visa-upon-arrival program and the Visa Issuance Made Simple (VIMS) scheme, which cut the documentary requirements for visas by 43 percent and reduced waiting time by 82 percent.

The Warden’s Conference is regularly held by the British embassy to brief its voluntary wardens throughout the Philippines on the developments concerning British nationals in the Philippines.

There are 75 voluntary British wardens throughout the country. They serve as contact persons for the embassy to make it easier to monitor whereabouts of British nationals.

The work of the British wardens is voluntary, according to British embassy Pro-Consul Carlos Tampinco.

Meanwhile, BI operatives have arrested another foreign fugitive, this time a Korean national wanted by authorities in Seoul for fraud.

Libanan said BI intelligence operatives arrested Song Hui Chun, 51, on Tuesday inside the Pan-Pacific Hotel in Ermita, Manila.

The Korean became the sixth foreign fugitive hiding in the country arrested by BI agents within the past two months.