E-Gates At NAIA Terminal 3 Ready For Use By Monday
Starting Monday, passengers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 can use the electronic immigration gates (e-gates), an immigration official said on Wednesday.
However, while the official launch of the e-gates in Terminal 3 is set on Thursday, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) still has to calibrate and fine-tune the machines before using these for regular or actual operations, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).
According to BI Port Operations Division chief Red Mariñas, they will conduct random testing on actual passengers for four days from July 19 to 22, so they could fine-tune the machines and program before it is given a go signal. Passengers who will be part of this random testing don’t need to have a face-to-face with an immigration officer at the BI counter.
At present, there are two e-gates installed at NAIA Terminal 3. There will be four more to be installed there. The government has allotted ₱340 million for the e-gates, and more e-gates will be installed at the country’s major airports by yearend. About 18 e-gate units will be put up in the country’s major airports, including those in Clark, Davao, and Kalibo, and the new airport in Cebu.
The e-gate only takes 12 seconds to 15 seconds to completely run through passenger records, from swiping their passports, taking of biometrics, and facial capturing. In turn, the e-gates will definitely speed up BI transactions.
However, Mariñas clarified that the e-gates would be used for Filipinos only. The immigration officers will still need to cater to foreigners. Also, the officers will be (at the airports) to look around for security purposes.