Ledesma bans BI employees from hanging out in restaurants, coffee shops

December 6, 2010 11:33 am 

MANILA, Dec. 6 – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) Monday banned officials and employees at its main office in Intramuros, Manila from hanging out in nearby coffee shops and restaurants during office hours as part of its reform agenda.

BI officer-in–charge Ronaldo, in a memorandum order, prohibited immigration personnel from hanging out in coffee shops and restaurants during office hours following reports that some of these employees were using the establishments to meet, discuss or engage in shady deals involving the bureau.

Ledesma stressed that civil service rules and laws, prohibit employees from loitering in restaurants, coffee shops and other similar establishments during office hours. Violators face suspension or dismissal from service, he said.

He said the directive was necessary in view of reports that fixers and some BI employees frequently visit the shops and restaurants to engage in shady deals and anomalous transactions.

“There were even reports that money intended for immigration transactions change hands in these restaurants in full view of the public to the detriment of the bureau’s reputation as a frontline agency of government,” Ledesma said.

He specifically enjoined employees from entering the nearby outlets of Starbucks, Mocha Blends, Jollibee and Max’s Restaurant, all within short walking distance from the BI office along Magallanes Drive in Intramuros.

These establishments have become the favorite havens of immigration personnel even during office hours, Ledesma said, citing reports.

BI employees are now off-limits to enter the establishments from 7 a.m. to 12 noon and from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on regular working days.

Ledesma instructed BI acting Associate Commissioner Alberto Braganza and head of the bureau’s civil security unit to strictly implement the order and report violators.

Several employees were already given notices by Ledesma asking them to explain in 72 hours why they should not be administratively charged after they were spotted in these establishments during office hours. (PNA)

LDV/FMB

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