IMMIGRATION Commissioner Jaime Morente on Sunday appealed for additional personal protective equipment (PPE) for immigration personnel manning counters at airports and seaports.
Morente said there is now a shortage in the bureau’s supply of PPE, face masks, alcohol, and hand sanitizers for frontline agents.
“We are sourcing masks, alcohol and other PPEs but we are honestly finding it hard to procure these as there is a worldwide lack of supply. Hence, we often rely on donations from other government agencies and concerned entities,” Morente said.
“We are one of those at risk of getting this virus. We need more because we are the first to interact with travelers from abroad,” he added.
He said that since last month, donations have been arriving but these are not enough to sustain the daily needs of frontline workers.
BI spokeswoman Dana Krizia Sandoval said Sandoval said at NAIA alone, there are 800 immigration personnel, “so that’s 800 masks and it’s a resource that gets depleted.”
BI Ports Operation Division chief Grifton Medina said the fear of getting infected by the virus has encouraged frontline workers to be creative and make improvised face masks.