|New immigration act pushed|
SEPTEMBER 02, 2012
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) reiterated its appeal for Congress to pass a new immigration law for the country that will replace the antiquated Philippine immigration act of 1940.
Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. made the appeal as the BI celebrates its 72nd founding anniversary this Saturday.
In a statement, David said many provisions of the present immigration act “are no longer responsive to modern-day immigration concerns.”
He said the said act does not provide the BI with adequate powers and authority to cope with external threats posed by foreigners involved in terrorism, human smuggling, human trafficking, illegal recruitment, prostitution, drug trafficking and other transnational crimes.
“There is an imperative need to enact a new immigration law that is attuned to present day realities and modern concerns to protect the security, morals, safety, and health of our people,” David added.
He stressed that a new immigration act should enable the BI to effectively fulfill its mandate to administer and enforce laws on immigration, citizenship and human trafficking.
The BI chief also cited the need to increase the bureau’s manpower and that a new immigration law would address this problem.
“We should be able to hire more personnel to man our ports amidst the increasing volume of international travelers who enter and exit our country,” he said.
David bewailed that despite the escalating increase in international travelers being processed by immigration officers, the number of BI employees has remained static.
He pointed out that the BI’s role is not confined to regulating the entry and stay of foreigners.
“We are in the frontlines of our government’s fight against human trafficking,” David said, saying the BI is one of the lead agencies of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT).###