BI all set for APEC Leaders’ Summit next week

By Ferdinand G. Patinio

MANILA, Nov. 12 (PNA) — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has expressed readiness in guarding the country’s borders as the Philippines hosts the leaders of the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum during their 2015 Meeting in Manila next week.

With this, BI Commissioner Siegfred Mison has deployed more than 100 personnel to form part of the coordinating team, intelligence-gathering, and airport screening.

He said that they are working closely with other government agencies under the committee on security, peace and order and emergency-preparedness of the APEC National Organizing Committee.

The BI chief added that they will be offering considerations to the APEC delegates and their companies such as the non-imposition of the six-month passport validity requirement and the presentation of a confirmed outbound ticket.

“We have extended courtesies and afforded less stringent requirements for the APEC delegates and their companions,” Mison said in a statement.

The BI has also strengthened the connection to the derogatory database of the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) in order to enhance border security and efficiency at major international ports.

To reinforce this capacity, the intergovernmental organization has provided state-of-the-art scanning and database equipment referred to as the Mobile Interpol Network Database, or the MIND.

By swiping the passport through the scanner, the identification of the passenger is cross-checked among the 50 million records in Interpol’s database, composed of fugitives, sex offenders, and lost passports from 190 member countries of the Interpol.

The leaders of 21 countries, including the United States of America, China, Japan, are scheduled to attend the summit.

This is the second time the Philippines will be hosting the event. The first time was in 1996. (PNA)