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|CODE OF CONDUCT FOR OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION|
WHEREAS, the Constitution declares that it is the prime duy of the Government to serve and protect the people. It is likewise declared that the maintenance of peace and order, the protection of life, liberty, and property, and the promotion of the genereal welfare are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of democracy. Furthermore, the Constitution guarantees the pursuit of an independent foreign policy. In its relations with other states, the paramount consideration shall be national sovereignty, territorial integrity, national interest, and the right to self-determination;
WHEREAS, the Bureau is mandated under Commonwealth Act. No. 613, as amended, otherwise known as the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940, to control and regulate the immigration of foreign nationals in the country, through the administration and enforcement of immigration and citizenship laws, and the admisssion, exclusion, deportation, and repatriation of aliens;
WHEREAS, the Bureau in the pursuit of its mandate, adheres to the strict implementation of all laws, rules, policies and regulations pertaining to the entry, exit, and sojoun of foreign nationals with the view of securing the tranquility of the state against aliens whose presence or stay may be deemed threats to national security, public safety, public morals, and public health;
WHEREAS, the Bureau is a public office is a public trust, and all public officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency, act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives;
WHEREAS, the Bureau has envisioned itself as a government agency that is graft-free, with all officials and employees united under the ethics and principles of professionalism, enabledwith the skills and competencies of an immigration practitioner, and imbued with the highest possible levels of motivation towards excellence and nationalism;
WHEREAS, the Bureau has adopted all the positive core values of the Filipino embodied in the Preamble as well as in the Declaration of Principles and State Policies of the Constitution; they are faith in God, patriotism, rule of law, truth, social justice, freedom, love, equality, peace, amity with all nations, public service, concern for the family, women and the youth, self reliance, concern for the environment, health and human rights, compassion and respect for human dignity, national unity and graft intolerance;
WHEREAS, while there are statutory provisions and Civil Service rules governing the ethical standards of government officials and employees, there is a need to adopt norms of conduct that are specific to all Bureau personnel because of their sensitive duties and responsibilities, as well as the special nature of their functions calling for a higher degree of professionalism and utmost commitment to national integrity and interest;
NOW, THEREFORE, the Board of Commissioners in behalf of all the officials and employees of the Bureau of Immigration hereby promulgates this CODE OF CONDUCT FOR OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION, to wit:
SECTION 1. This Code shall apply to all personnel of the Bureau; permanent, contractual and co-terminus, including, but not limited to the Commissioner, Associate Commissioners, Executive Director, Division Chiefs and their deputies, Regional Directors, Alien Control Officers, Section Chiefs and Technical Assistants.
FIDELITY, COMPETENCE and DILIGENCE in the PERFORMANCE of DUTIES
SECTION 1. Bureau personnel shall perform and discharge their duties with the highest degree of honesty, morality, excellence, professionalism, intelligence and skill and they shall extend prompt, courteous and adequate service to the public and shall at all times remain sincere and true to their calling as public servants.
SECTION 2. Bureau personnel shall always uphold the public interest over and above their personal interests and shall not use official position to secure unwarranted benefits, priveleges or exemptions for themselves or others.
SECTION 3. In the interest of national security, it shall be the sworn duty of every personnel to be loyal to the Republic, the Constitution , and the Filipino people. They shall at all times upold the rule of law and endeavor to maintain and protect Philippine sovereignty against foreign intrusion.
SECTION 4. In the interest of good international relations and to promote international friendship and goodwill, every reasonable effort consistent with the requirements of immigration law and regulations shall be made by Bureau employees to avoid causing annoyance and inconvenience to aliens and the transacing public. BI personnel are reminded that in the discharge of their duties they will come in contact with aliens of varying social attainments, often speaking only their native tongue. (Adopted – Administrative Order No. 1 dated January 1, 1941)
SECTION 5. Bureau personnel shall at all times be zealous to secure and protect the country's sovereignty against undesirable aliens whose presence is a threat to public safety, public morals, public health, and public interests.
SECTION 6. Bureau personnel shall always strive to appear and conduct themselves as to maintain the dignity of their position. This necessitates neatness in their personal appearance, tact, and courtesy in their dealings with aliens. (Adopted – Administrative Order No. 1 dated January 1, 1941)
SECTION 7. Bureau personnel shall at all times be punctual in the performance of their duties and shall commit themselves exclusively to the business and responsibilities of their office during working hours.
SECTION 8. Bureau personnel as frontline officers shall support the government's tourism inititiatives by adopting customer friendly programs, promoting goodwill and amity among nations.
SECTION 9. Bureau personnel shall provide service to everyone without discrimination and shal not dispense special favors to anyone. They shall not allow kinship, rank, position, creed or religion, political affilitaion or preference, or favors from any party to influence their official acts, duties and functions. In so far as foreign nationals are concerned, Bureau personnel shall treat them as customers, ever mindful to provide the best service that will benefit the inerests of the country, and shall dispense their duties and functions with a deeper appreciation and understanding of the culture, norms, values, lifestyles and sensitivities of foreign nationals.
SECTION 10. Bureau personnel shall expeditiously enforce rules and regulations of the Bureau without fear or favor.
SECTION 11. Bureau personnel shall promptyly act on and dispose of written requests, petitions, applications, motions, etc. and shall promptly implement orders, resolutions, decisions or judgments of the Board within the limits of their authority. They shall not neglect or refuse, after due demand or request, without sufficient justification, to act within a reasonable time on any matter pending before them for the purpose of obtaining, directly or indirectly, from any person interested in the matter some pecuniary or material benefit or advantage, or for the purpose of favoring their own interests or giving undue advantage in favor of or discrimation agains any other interested party.
SECTION 12. Bureau personnel shall not remove, conceal, alter, falsify, destroy or mutilate any document, paper or record within their control.
SECTION 13. Bureau personnel shall not accept any present or favor from the transacting public and shall not accept any fee or remuneration other than what they are entitled to receive in their official capacity.
SECTION 14. Bureau personnel shall not engage in any activity that involves undue facilitation of transactions for pecuniary gain or other advantage or consideration i.e. fixing. They are prohibited to deal, directly or indirectly, with fixers.
A fixer refers to any individual, whether or not officially involved in the operation of government office or agency, who has access to people working therein and whether or not in collusion with them, who facilitates the speedy completion of transaction for pecuniary gain or any advantage or consideration relative to paragraph 3, Section 1, Rule III of this Code.
Further to the foregoing defintion and consistent with the Implementing Rules and Regulations of R.A. 9485, otherwise known as the Anti-Red Tape Act f 2007, a fixer is a person who, for a fee, favor, or present, performs any of the acts for, and in behalf of another person, in relation to or in connection with any official transaction(s) in the Bureau:
The following, however, are not considered fixers: (a) a lawyer who practices law before the Bureau, or the authorized liaison officers of any law office; (b) authorized representatives of a travel agency or private entity, duly accredited by the Bureau so long as they strictly adhere to the prescribed policies, guidelines and procedures for accreditation of private entities and their representatives in the Bureau as embodied in Memorandum Circular MCL No. - 010; © an applicant/petitioner acting in his own behalf, his attorney-in-fact; (d) a person duly authorized to act in behalf of a corporation or other judicial entity.
SECTION 15. Bureau personnel shall use the agency's resources, property and funds in their custody in an official mater and in a judicious manner and solely in accordance with the prescribed statutory and regulatory guidelines or procedures.
SECTION 16. Bureau personnel shall conduct themselves with courtesy, fairness, good faith and candor toward their colleagues/co-employees. They shall not persuade, induce, or influence their colleagues/co-employees to perform an act constituting a violation of rules and regulations duly promulgated by competent authority or an offense in connection with the official duties of the latter, or allow themeselves to commit such violation or offense.
SECTION 17. Bureau personnel and their families shall lead modest lives appropriate to their positions and income, They shall not indulge in extravagant or ostentatious display of wealth in any form.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
SECTION 1. Bureau personnel shall avoid confilcts of interest in performing official duties. They are required to exercise utmost diligence in detecting conflicts of interest, in disclosing them to the designated authority and terminating them as they arise.
Actual or potential conflict of interest occurs when an official or employee of the BI is in a position to influence a decision that may result in a personal gain or gain for a relative within the third degree of consanguinity or affinity.
However, a conflict of interest is presumed when a Bureau personnel has a substantial financial interest in the business owned fully or partially by foreign nationals and/or accredited private firms, and in the interest of such business, his rights or duties therein may be opposed o or affected by the faithful performance of his official duty as an employee of the Bureau.
SECTION 2. When a conflict of interest arises, a Bureau personnel shall resign from his position in any private business owned or co-owned by a foreign national within thiry (30) days from his assumption of office, and divests himself of his shareholdings or interest within 60 days from such assumption. The requirement of divestment applies to all who serve the agency including confidential agents, casual, or temporary workers.
For purposes of this Code, a conflict of interest also applies to any BI officials and employees who engage in the facilitation of immigration services during office hours but refuse or fail to abide by the provisions of a merit-based performance evaluation system i.e. CSC MC No. 7, s. of 2007 (PMS-OPES).
SECTION 1. Relatives within the third degree of consanguinity or affinity of the recommending or appointing authority shall not be hired as employees of the Bureau whether contractual or permanent, except those who shall serve in a confidential capacity and for a term co-terminus with the recommending and/or appointing authority.
SECTION 2. Supervision by the head of office, division, or section over a relative within the third degree of consanguinity or affinity shall not be allowed.
Cases of previous appointments which are in contravention with this Section shall be corrected by transfer, and pending such transfer, no promotion or salary increase shall be allowed in favor of the relative/s appointed in violation of these provisions.
MORALITY IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE
SECTION 1. The highest degree of morality shall be expected and practiced by all officials and employees. Hence, illicit relationships, disgraceful and immoral conduct and corruption shall not be tolerated and will not remain unpunished.
SECTION 2. The prosecution of administrative cases invloving immorality and corruption shall be given priority and immediate acion. Scuh action shall be without prejudice to the filing of the appropriate criminal charges under existing laws and jurisprudence.
SECTION 3. Corollary to the above punitive approach, positive or preventive measures to curb the culture of immorality and corruption shall be the continuing concern and primary duty of the Bureau.
RECEIVING AND HANDLING OF COMPLAINTS
SECTION 1. No BI personnel shall be removed or suspended except for cause as provided by law and after due process.
SECTION 2. Any complaint against any BI officer or personnel under this Code shall be initiated by a verified compaint, or if not verified, is verifiable and supported by the necessary evidence. This section shall also cover situationns wherein BI personnel institute an administrative action against a co-worker in the Bureau.
SECTION 3. Complaints, whether verified or not, shall be referred to the Internal Affairs Unit (IAU) or to any office of the Bureau mandated to receive complaints against Bureau officials and employees. The office receiving the complaint shall endorse the complaint to the IAU which shall initate administrative proceedings under the Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service. The results of the proceedings and appropriate recommendations of the IAU shall be submitted to the Office of the Commissioner for appropriate action. (Adopted from Memorandum Order MCL No. 022 s. of 2009)
SECTION 1. It shall be the responsibility of all supervising Bureau personnel to ensure that all their constituents and subordinates shall receive a copy of this Code and have read and understood the provisions contained thereon. It is also their responsibility to monitor the enforcement of this Code and to report any violation thereof to the Commissioner.
SECTION 2. Any supervisor who has knowledge that an offense or violation of this Code shall be committed, is being committed, or has been committed by his/her subordinates, or by others within his/her area of responsibility, and despite such knowledge, did not take preventive or corrective action either before, during, or immediately after its commission shall be held accountable for neglect of duty.
SECTION 3. A supervisor is presumed to have knowledge of the commission of an offense or violation of this Code in any of the following circumstances:
a. When the offense or violation to this Code is widespread with his area of jursidiction;
b. When the offense or violation to this Code is repeatedly or regularly committed within his area of responsbibility;
c. When members of his immediate staff or personnel are involved.
DUTY TO REPORT
SECTION 1. It is the duty of all Bureau personnel who witness or become aware of any volation of this Code by any personnel, or any attempted or consummated act of graft and corruption involving any BI personnel to report the same to any authorized official of the Bureau.
SECTION 2. A complaint or report on any malpractice or corrupt practice shall be made in writing and under oath and should be filed within thirty (30) days from the date of the commission of the unlawful act. If the act is continuous in nature in which case the filing of the complaint or report should be done within a reasonable time from knowledge of such unlawful act.
SECTION 3. All reports and identities of the complainant and of the respondent should be treated with confidentiality, sensitivity and discretion to the extent allowed by the circumstance and the law. Generally, complaints and reports will only be shared with those who have a need to know so that the Bureau can conduct an effective investigation and determine what action to take.
SECTION 4. Anonymous complaints should be filed with the Office of the Whistle Blowing Assessor who hill determine probable cause. Upon findings by the Whistle Blowing Assessor that a probable cause exits, he shall endorse the report or complaint to the Inernal Affairs Unit (IAU) which shall conduct investigation and hearings on the case. In turn, the IAU shall make the final recommendation to the Commissioner.
SECTION 5. No official or employee who in good faith reports a violation of the Code shall suffer harassment, retaliation, or adverse employment consequence. AN employee who reports a violation in bad faith is subject to appropriate disciplinary action. Whistleblowers who believe they have been retaliated against may file a written complaint with the Internal Affairs Unit which will promptly investigate and take appropriate measures.
SECTION 1. Bureau personnel shall not disclose to any unauthorized person any confidential information acquired by them while employed in the agency, whether such information comes from authorized or unauthorized sources.
Confidential information means information related to cases still being heard, pending applications and other issuance not yet made a matter of public record, as well as information not yet made public, concerning the work of any personnel.
SECTION 2. Confidential information available to specific individual by reason of statute, rule, or policy shall be disclosed only by persons authorized to do so.
SECTION 3. Unless expressly authorized, employees shall not disclose confidential information given by the applicants, movants, witnesses, or their attorneys to any other member of the Board of Commissioners or any official. This shall be known as the “need to know” policy in disclosing information.
SECTION 4. Personnel leaving the Bureau for whatever reason shall bind themselves not to disclose confidential information acquired by them during their employment in the agency, otherwise they shall be held responsible and all their benefits cancelled and revoked.
SYSTEMS OF REWARDS AND INCENTIVES
SECTION 1. A system of rewards and incentives is hereby established in order to motivate, inspire and encourage BI personnel to uphold the highest standards of ethics in immigration service delivery. For this purpose, the Committee on Program for Rewards and Incentives for Service Excellence or PRAISE is hereby created under the Office of the Commissioner, to ensure the institutionalization of said systems of rewards and incentives.
SECTION 2. It shall be the task of the PRAISE Committee to conduct a periodic and continuing review of the performance of all employees, and to incorporate in its multi-stakeholder evalutaion structure, as system to recognize compliance to this Code, as well as its commensurate rewards and incentives for outstanding merit, on the basis of the standards set forth in this Code.
SECTION 3. The conferment of rewards shall take into account among other things the following: the quality and consistency of performance, the risk factors inherent in their work, the unque and exemplary quality of certain achievements in national security, the display and manifestation of customer service excellence, as well as the level of commitment to public service.
SECTION 4. Incentives and rewards to outstanding personnel shall be given in public ceremonies, honoring them in the form of cash bonuses, citations, scholarship grants, paid vacation and the like. Thay shall likewise be promoted to the next higher position with the commensurate salary suitable to their qualification. The PRAISE Committee shall adopt its own rules to govern the conduct of its activities, taking into consideration the provisions of this Code.
SECTION 1. Any Bureau personnel regardless of rank and status, committing any violation of this Code shall be punished appropriately and consistent with the penal provisions of Republic Act No. 6713, as amended.
SECTION 2. Any violation hereof proven in a proper administrative proceeding shall be sufficient cause for removal or dismissal of personnel, even if no criminal prosecution is instituted against him.
INCORPORATION OF OTHER RULES
SECTION 1. All provisions of law, Civil Service Rules, and administrative issuance governing or regulating the conduct of public officers and employees applicable to the Bureau of Immigration are deemed incorporated in this Code.
SECTION 1. This Code of Conduct shall take ffect fifteen (15) days following the issuance and circulation of an Office Memorandum informing all BI personnel of the adoption of this Code.
City of Manila, Philippines this ________ day of ______ 2007.
THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MARCELINO C. LIBANAN
ROY M. ALMORO ENRIQUE B. GALANG JR.
Associate Commissioner Associate Commissioner