On Wednesday, Davao International Airport became the second airport in the Philippines to introduce the electronic gate system or e-gate, that enhances and lessens the air traveler’s clearing time.
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) officiated the launching of the two e-gates which will simplify and efficiently improve travelers’ clearing processes.
According to BI Terminal Head Supervisor Eric Fernandez, the e-gate will be functional for Filipino travelers arriving abroad.
He also said that the arrival of the e-gates is very helpful especially in peak seasons such as Christmas and Holy Week.
“With the arrival of the e-gates, we are anticipating a larger volume of passengers,” Fernandez said.
He added the newly built system would cut processing time to just about 15 seconds, catering more passengers. Standard processing time for a passenger to be cleared at an immigration counter usually takes 45 seconds.
From going to the immigration officers, passengers will now be directed to the e-gates which would scan their boarding passes.
He also said it will provide the agency an efficient and accurate monitoring on citizens under watch list and/or persons of interest in immigration formalities.
The P329, million e-gate system was first launched at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 in July.
There will be 21 units of e-gates that will be distributed to five international airports in the country: five for NAIA Terminal 1, three for NAIA Terminal 2, five for NAIA Terminal 3, three for Mactan International Airport in Cebu, three for Clark International Airport in Pampanga and two for Davao International Airport.
Eva Petchon, a passenger from Hong Kong, was the first to try the newly-installed e-gate.
Although she failed on her first try due to failure of following proper procedure, she then managed to be cleared.
She was amazed by the technology, saying “Davao had already upgraded”.
Former Special Assistant to the President and aspiring Senatorial candidate Christopher “Bong” Go graced the ribbon-cutting, together with BI officials.
Go said that the e-gates would be of big help to the public, as part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan in modernizing the airport facilities.
He also said that the e-gate system had been pushed by Duterte since the start of his administration.
“This is a clear proof that the BI is doing their job in ensuring the welfare of our passengers,” Go said.