Senate OKs resolution on deferral of IACAT’s new travel guidelines
MANILA, Philippines — The Senate on Wednesday approved a still unnumbered resolution, seeking to defer the implementation of the Inter-Agency Council against Trafficking’s (IACAT) revised and stricter travel guidelines for Filipino passengers.
The resolution was approved in a plenary session. All members of the chamber were made co-authors and sponsors of the measure.
Meanwhile, a separate unnumbered resolution introduced by Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III was also approved in the same plenary session.
The unnumbered measure authorizes the Senate President to file, on behalf of the Senate, a petition or a case before the Supreme Court, should it still be necessary for court intervention to put a stop to IACAT’s regulations.
Prior to the approval of these resolutions, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri delivered a privilege speech on IACAT’s travel guidelines and criticized the new regulations, questioning whether or not such will really help Filipinos.
“We are one with IACAT, of course, in finding ways to protect our people from being exploited, and finding themselves abroad with no proper employment, and no means of coming back home,” Zubiri stressed.
“And we know that the point of departure is a crucial stage where we can act on this, and prevent our people from leaving our care and becoming victims of trafficking. But there has to be a way to protect our people without also hampering their right to travel,” he said.
Senators Joel Villanueva, Francis “Chiz” Escudero, Risa Hontiveros, Ramon “Bong” Revilla, and Pia Cayetano likewise stood up to back Zubiri’s speech, criticizing IACAT’s regulations.
IACAT earlier announced that it will be implementing its revised guidelines for the departure of Filipinos traveling abroad beginning September 3.
With this development, Filipinos will be required to present more documents and comply with stricter travel regulations.