High-Tech Electronic Gates in Davao Airport

Filipinos are excited with the newest technologies of the Francisco Bangoy International Airport (FBIA) also known as the Davao airport. Apparently, Davao installed high-tech electronic gates. Hundreds of Filipinos were shocked (in a positive way) and excited when they found out about the Davao airport having these kinds of “high-tech feels“. Yesterday, the 31st of October, was when this new technology was installed.

e-Gates or High-tech electronic gates
Image taken from Sunstar.com.ph | The photo was by Gilford A. Doquila

Among the different airlines which has this new system, the Davao International Airport is the second (2nd) Philippine airport to have this; the first airport would be the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). In addition to that, out of all the five (5) major airports where the Bureau of Immigration would be installing e-Gates in, the Davao International Airport has two (2).

Read: OFWs can Avail Free TESDA Tech-Voc Education Upon Airport Arrival

The Bureau of Immigration’s electronic gate system or also known as e-Gates, were installed and is currently being used at the Francisco Bangoy International airport in Davao. Eva Pichon, an OFW having a vacation in the Philippines, was ecstatic and said that “Yes! We’re now hi-tech!

Eva Pichon and a dozen other vacationing OFWs were able to try the system yesterday. As a matter of fact, they were the first (1st) batch who to use the system. However, Pichon and a few other people failed on their attempt. This is because, they weren’t able to follow the correct and proper procedure.

So instead na mag-pass sila with the stamps sa mga personnel namin sa Bureau of Immigration, yung automated process will give a sticker dun sa passports pagdating nila sa Davao (So instead of them passing with the stamps from our personnel at the Bureau of Immigration, the automated process will give a sticker on the passports as they arrive in Davao),” said Immigration officer, Christine H. Tavarro, Immigration officer in an interview.

In order for the high-tech electronic gates or e-Gates to function properly, a person needs to abide by the following instructions:

  • Firstly, the passenger or the user must scan their boarding passes on the scanning the page. This is where basic information of the passport holder are found
  • Doing this would open the first exit door where the passenger or the user would put his or her index finger while looking at the camera. This is like a protection thing. The second (2nd) scanner is where you have to put your index finger on.
  • Once done, the screen would flash the words “Maligayang Pagdating sa Pilipinas.” (Translation: Welcome to the Philippines). During this, the second (2nd) exit gate opens.
  • This is when a passenger gets cleared. Then, the cleared passenger would pick his or her sticker pass and leave the immigration counter.

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According to Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente, this new high-tech electronic gates system would drastically decrease the processing time of about 15 seconds, in estimation, per person. Imagine the amount of time everyone will be saving. More so, he said that the system would ultimately lead to decongestion at the arrival and departure counters. It will drastically improve the flow of international flights to the city.

At least three (3) airlines have flights to Singapore, Jinjiang China, and Kuala Lumpur either on a weekly or bi-weekly bases. In addition to that, plans to a major Japanese city was also on its way.

Jaime Morente said that these e-Gates are part of the P329 million project which was backed by the national government. Moreover, this means that these major advances in our system and economy are currently being looked at by the national government.

Does this service foreign passengers as well?

Image was taken from The Philippine Star (philstar.com)

Unfortunately, the e-Gates will be able to accommodate Filipino passengers for now, according to Eric Fernandez, Bureau of Immigration (BI) FBIA terminal supervisor. However, after testing and improving the system, these high-tech electronic gates will be able to serve foreign and international passport holders as well.

Read: New Bills to Empower OFWs, Approved in Congress

All Filipinos, both who are working and those only on vacation are hoping for the improvement of this system. It will have a huge impact on the condition of airports especially because it’ll lead to faster, easier, and more efficient transactions.

According to Fernandez, the processing time of the current and practiced transaction with immigration officers, these new high-tech electronic gates would be down to eight (8) to fifteen (15) seconds.

Although the project is costly, the time that will be saved can be used for other purposes instead.

Hopefully, we’ll see improvement in these gates. At least, it’s notable and it’s worth it since taxpayers are able to see something out of the tax they pay for.

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