Phuket Immigration “best in South’
PHUKET: Pol Col Witawat Buranasompop, Superintendent of the Phuket Provincial Immigration Office (PPIO), today announced that his office has been chosen as the best immigration office in the south for its level of service and the improvements it has made.
The PPIO received the award from Immigration Division 3 on September 30, Col Witawat said, proudly adding that PPIO Deputy Superintendent Pol Lt Col Rungkiat Sonjance was selected as the best Royal Thai Police officer of the year for his skills in public relations.
Col Witawat said that the main reason for the PPIO winning the award was the efficiency of the “one-stop service” center at Chalong Pier and of the immigration office at Patong. Speaking about the long queues that have plagued the immigration desks at Phuket International Airport for months, Col Witawat said the problem of insufficient officers there had been resolved by the arrival of more officers.
He explained that the long delays were caused by passports that could not be processed electronically. “Passports from countries such as Bangladesh, India and Burma cannot be read by our passport-reader machines. The officers have to use keyboards instead, which takes longer,” he said.
Col Witawat added that many tourists from countries including Russia, Germany, China and South Korea spoke little English, which made it difficult to communicate with immigration officers. In response, the PPIO will now be equipped with sample forms of the TM61 entry form completed in those languages to be used as guides.
“Another problem is that more tourists now arrive at the airport between 1 am and 2 am. More than 400 people arrive at the same time, which causes delays. However, I have looked at this problem closely and this high season will be better,” he said.
Col Witawat added that while he remains Superintendent at the PPIO he will continue to improve immigration services. “Our officers serve tourists from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday. We never close for lunch,” he said.
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