Immigration orders pull-out of cards with P-Noy’s photo

September 25, 2010 11:34 am 

By Francis M. Bilowan

MANILA, Sept. 24 — Officials of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said they already ordered the pull out of arrival and departure cards bearing the photo of President Benigno Aquino at the country’s airports.

Immigration officer-in-charge Ronaldo Ledesma on Friday reiterated an earlier request by the BI to the card printer and to the various airlines to stop the distribution of the cards in compliance with the presidential directive prohibiting the placement of names and photographs of public officials in government projects.

Ledesma assured that the cards will soon be pulled out of the airports as the supplier has started replacing them with cards without the President’s photograph.

He clarified that the cards were printed in July or before he was named OIC of the bureau and that the cards’ distribution could not be stopped immediately because the card supplier had asked for more time to replace them.

Lawyer Arvin Santos, BI airport operations division chief, said that as early as the first week of August, he already requested e.Xtend Inc., the card supplier, to stop printing and distributing the cards bearing the President’s picture.

However, Vicente Lautchang, e.Xtend Inc. president, in a letter, informed the BI that the company still had large stockpiles of cards with the President’s photograph that had to be disposed as these were printed in the second week of July.

“Nonetheless, despite the company’s explanation we reiterated our request that the company rush the manufacture and printing of new cards to comply with the President’s directive,” Santos said.

Santos said newly-printed cards were already being delivered to the immigration offices of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and other international airports.

The arrival and departure cards are filled up by every Filipino and foreign passenger who travels in and out of the country.

Entries in the cards are then encoded by BI personnel as part of the bureau’s function to record and document the arrival and departure of all international travelers. (PNA) RMA/FMB

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