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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau

Update the antiquated 1940 Philippine Immigration Law - Rodriguez
Writer: Dionisio P. Tubianosa, Media Relations Service-PRIB
18 November 2013 09:26:16 AM

Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez has filed a bill updating the antiquated provisions of the Philippine Immigration Act or Commonwealth Act 613 which was enacted into law in 1940.

Rodriguez and Rep. Maximo Rodriguez (Abante Mindanao Party-list) filed House Bill 3007 to update several antiquated laws in the statute books which are no longer relevant to modern times.

Rodriguez said the country should come up with stricter rules and regulations to protect the security, morals, safety and health of the people and the country in general.

"Although some amendments and revisions have been effected to this law, many of its provisions have ceased to be responsive to present day conditions and realities, and there are still many problematic areas and concerns that have not been adequately addressed," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez noted that recent events showed that many aliens in the country have been involved, at one time or another, in organized crimes like illegal recruitment, prostitution, drug trafficking, terrorism, human smuggling and other crimes.

"These crimes greatly resulted in the general impression of both Filipinos and foreigners alike that some aliens have contributed to a sufficient degree to the rise of criminality in the country," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said the bill proposes a new, streamlined and restructured Commission on Immigration and Naturalization, which will systematize the gathering, compiling, storage and reckoning and analysis of records, data and statistics on aliens and will delineate the functions among the different divisions and departments so as to cut bureaucratic red tape and overlapping functions.

Under the bill, the proposed Commission will act on administrative naturalization matters in addition to its immigration related services and will also expand the classes of aliens who are ineligible for admission into the country.

The bill provides guidelines on the handling of recent international developments in the matter of refugees, stateless persons and asylees, plus the provision of stiff penalties for trafficking of persons.

The penalties, depending on what provision of the proposed law is violated, range from P50,000 to P500,000, aside from possible prison terms stipulated.

Furthermore, the proposed measure will make the Commissioners career officials with a fixed term of seven years.

The Commission shall be administered by the Board of Commissioners headed by the Commissioner as Chairperson and four Deputy Commissioners as members.