Villanueva questions legal basis of BI-issued work permits for foreigners
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Joel Villanueva is questioning the “legal basis” of the Bureau of Immigration’s issuance of special working permits for foreigners.
Villanueva revealed that there is a mismatch in the number of alien employment permits issued by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the permits issued by the BI.
“We had another hearing we discovered that while DOLE only issued 115,652, alien employment permits from 2015 to 2017, BI issued 185,099 special working permits from January to November 30, 2018. Clearly, there seems to be a mismatch followed by the DOLE in issuing work permits,” the senator said in a Senate session on Wednesday.
“What is the legal basis of BI in issuing special work permits?” he asked.
Villanueva also expressed alarm that some BI satellite offices are charging P5,000 to expedite the process of special working permits.
“What is really shocking is the fact that after our hearing last November, our office called up a satellite office of the Bureau of Immigration in SM Aura. We asked about the process as to what we should be doing in order to apply for a special working permit,” the senator said.
“Ang sabi sa amin, pumunta lang dun, pero one week ang processing. But you know what? You can pay P5,000 pesos in a day makukuha niyo na yung special working visa. Pero yung 5,000 na babayaran mo walang resibo yan,” he said.
(They instructed us just to go there. The processing will take a week but they said we can pay P5,000 to get the special working visa in a day. But no receipt will be issued for the P5,000 fee.)
The senator said the Senate must not pass the BI’s budget for 2019 without investigating the issue.
“Ayaw naman natin na nagpapasa tayo ng budget ng Bureau of Immigration at ‘di natin ‘to sinisilip at ginagawan ng paraan na yung mga kababayan natin nananakawan ng trabaho sa sarili nating bayan,” he said.
(We do not want to pass the budget of the Bureau of Immigration without checking on this and doing something about the fact that Filipinos could lose jobs in their own country.) /ee
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