Friday, May 31, 2024

BI to buy P84-M worth of IT equipment for airport counters

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) is in the process of procuring new computers, biometrics equipment, and other state-of-the-art devices to modernize its operations at the international airports.

The Bureau of Immigration says it needs new computers and fingerprint scanners to modernize its systems and avoid long queues in airports

BI officer-in-charge Siegfred Mison disclosed that the Department of Justice (DOJ) has already approved the agency?s proposed Biometrics Project, which will be implemented at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and other international airports nationwide.

Mison disclosed that the P84-million automation project will involve the purchase of 220 units of passport readers, 200 units of workstations, 440 fingerprint scanners, 440 fingerprint scanners, 350 high-definition webcams, and ten document scanners.

He said the bureau is initially procuring the 220 passport readers, with an estimated cost of P44 million or P200,000 each, to replace existing units that were bought four years ago at P457,000 each.

Mison added that, according to Commission on Audit (COA) rules, passport readers at the airports, which were bought in 2008, have a life span of four years, hence the need to replace them.

Mison further said that computers in BI counters at the airports also need to be replaced to address past occurrences of glitches in these equipment that have inconvenienced many passengers.

He said that since 2012 BI computers at the NAIA experienced ?downtimes? at least 15 times, lasting for several minutes, leading to long queues which led to manual processing of passengers at the immigration counters.

?We appeal to the traveling public to bear with us for any inconvenience,? Mison said, as he promised to rush the project?s completion in time for the expected influx of passengers this Christmas.

?Travelers deserve the best immigration service and we do not want traveling to be burdensome for them,? Mison declared.

It was learned that aside from the equipment procured by the BI, the agency has received or will receive 10 units of passport readers from the Philippine Airlines; 15 workstations from the Clark International Airport Authority; and six passport readers courtesy of Sen. Franklin Drilon.

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