BI decentralization program in full swing

January 23, 2010 11:44 am 

MANILA, Jan. 23 — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) moved another step in its drive to decentralize with the designation of several officials who will oversee the agency’s operations in Metro Manila, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

BI Commissioner Marcelino Libanan signed a personnel order designating the BI’s chiefs of the immigration regulation division (IRD), alien registration division (ARD) and intelligence division as overall immigration area directors for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, respectively.

IRD chief Edgardo Mendoza will thus serve as concurrent immigration director for Luzon; ARD chief Danilo Almeda for the Visayas; and intelligence chief Faizal Hussin for Mindanao.

BI technical staff chief Patch Arbas was named overall director for Metro Manila while BI executive director Franklin Littaua was designated chair of the bureau’s decentralization and regionalization program.

Earlier, the bureau launched its regionalization program with the establishment of immigration area offices (IAOs) in the various regions of the country.

The IAOs have been authorized to render full immigration services to foreigners which used to be only available at the BI main office in Manila and a few extension and satellite offices.

With the regionalization program, the bureau’s intelligence, legal, enforcement, and visa functions have been delegated to the various IAOs.

“With this program, we have brought our services closer to foreigners living in the provinces as they no longer have to travel all the way to Manila to have their immigration documents processed,” Libanan said.

Recently, Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera recently approved Libanan’s recommendation to increase the number of IAOs from 10 to 16.

Litttaua, meanwhile, announced the appointment of Atty. Ramoncito Tolentino as immigration area director for NCR-West which covers the cities of Caloocan, Malabon, Valenzuela, and Navotas.

Named as director for NCR-East was Atty. Henry Tubban Jr. whose area will include the cities of Taguig, Mandaluyong, Makati and San Juan, while Epifanio Lambino Jr. was appointed as immigration area director for NCR- South which covers the cities of Pasay, Paranaque, Las Pinas, Muntinlupa and the town of Pateros.

Atty. Cris Villalobos was named head of NCR-South covering the cities of Quezon, Marikina and Pasig while Jerome Gabionza headed the NCR-Central that will cater to foreigners living and staying in city of Manila. (PNA)

DCT/FMB

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