President Rodrigo Duterte prepares to board a helicopter after gracing the inauguration of the Sangley Airport Development Project in Cavite City on Feb. 15, 2020. ALBERT ALCAIN/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered airlines to provide passengers’ information to the Bureau of Immigration (BI) ahead of their arrival in the Philippines.

Duterte signed Executive Order (EO) No. 122 on Tuesday, which directed airlines to adopt an advance passenger information (API) system.

An API system is an electronic communications system that collects biographic data from machine-readable documents such as passports.

According to the EO, the system will serve as an “initial security vetting of passengers,” which can allow for a more effectively facilitated and expedited arrival and departure of legitimate travelers.

Duterte also ordered the BI to perform security vetting of the API using its own database and if necessary, using other law enforcement and non-law enforcement databases.

“In the event that errors are found in the API, the BI shall provide an opportunity to correct such errors or perform corrections after verification based on travel or other related documents,” the EO read.

The EO specified that an individual may seek access to the API if he or she is the subject of data being accessed.

The BI was also tasked to secure and manage the API and make sure only personnel authorized by the BI commissioner can access the system. Unauthorized disclosures shall be punishable under the Data Privacy Act of 2012. John Ezekiel J. Hirro