Computer glitch forces BI to check passports manually for 9 hours

MANILA, Philippines - The Bureau of Immigration computer system at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport terminal 1 encountered systems failure, interrupting services for both arriving and departing passengers at the terminal.

The computer glitch caused long lines of anxious, angry passengers at the immigration arrival and departure area, affecting more than 25 flights from 2 pm to 11 pm of Monday. Among the flights were those on eight wide-body aircraft coming mostly from the Middle East during the peak hours.

The Bureau of Immigration had to put up additional counters to accommodate the volume of passports being processed manually and deployed more personnel to ease the backlog.

The disruption of immigration services was only the latest in a series of problems at the country’s premier airport, where congestion and the air-traffic controllers’ nightmare of shorter separations between flights, were recently reported.