House panel OKs bill seeking to modernize BI
MANILA, Philippines — The House committee on appropriations has approved a bill which seeks to modernize, professionalize and improve the compensation of officials and personnel of the Bureau of Immigration (BI).
Deputy Speaker Rufus Rodriguez, author of House Bill No. 4103 which was among the bills consolidated and approved, said that the proposed Philippine Immigration Act would replace the 1940 immigration law known as Commonwealth Act No. 613.
“The proposed new immigration law aims to make the BI more responsive to the challenges and developments of migration and immigration, which require streamlining and modernizing the bureau and expanding its powers and functions,” Rodriguez said in a statement.
Rodriguez said the bill defines the powers and functions of the immigration bureau, its commissioner, two deputy commissioners and other officials, and directorates and offices under it.
Further, Rodriguez said the bill also upgrades the salaries of BI officers and personnel.
According to the lawmaker, while there have been changes in the 1940 law in the past, the statute “has ceased to be responsive to present-day conditions and realities.”
He said that aside from the pastillas scam that protected mostly illegal Chinese nationals, “many aliens in the country have been involved in various crimes, including kidnapping, smuggling, human trafficking, labor recruitment, and terrorism.”
Rodriguez said the bill will now go to the plenary for second reading debates.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.