Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, in filing Senate Bill 107 or the proposed Philippine Immigration Act, said for the Philippines to become a “formidable force in the international scene,” the government must first institutionalize its immigration policies.
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Zubiri bill seeks to institutionalize immigration policy
Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - August 12, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines must institutionalize and reform its immigration system to help protect national security and earn the respect of the international community, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said.

Zubiri, in filing Senate Bill 107 or the proposed Philippine Immigration Act, said for the Philippines to become a “formidable force in the international scene,” the government must first institutionalize its immigration policies.

The bill seeks the creation of a Commission on Immigration, that will be charged with establishing “protection for the nation’s sovereignty, territory, security, interest, and right to self-determination.”

 “In an increasingly globalized age, where borders are made porous by technological advancements and where economies live and die by the politics of international relations, it is imperative that the State strengthen its immigration policies for the protection and growth of the nation and its citizens,” Zubiri said.

 “For a developing nation that counts migrant workers as one of its most valuable exports, whose coastal territories are time and again questioned if not threatened by foreign powers, and for a nation that holds huge potential for foreign investments, immigration affairs can be but one of the most pressing national concerns,” he said.

 By elevating the government’s immigration measures, the country, he said, “will establish itself as a competent, formidable force in the international scene, and in doing so will invite foreign respect and confidence, opening lucrative global opportunities for the nation.”

 Under the measure, the proposed commission shall be directed to require foreigners to secure a visa before they are able to enter Philippine territory as non-immigrants. It shall also set a quota or a cap on immigrant foreigners entering the country.

 The body shall also be responsible for the evaluation and granting of refugee status to persons fleeing their home nations for protection on Philippine shores.

 The commission shall also have regional immigration offices that are accessible to all citizens.

 Zubiri also proposed the creation of Boards of Inquiry in crucial areas of specialization such as the following: deportation, revocation of immigration status, application for recognition of Philippine citizenship by reason of birth or marriage, application for legalization of residence, application for issuance of visa for stateless persons.  

 “Pro-active persons shall be appointed to the boards as they have only five days to resolve cases brought to them as enumerated and perform other duties and functions as directed by the commissioner,” he said.             

IMMIGRATION POLICY JUAN MIGUEL ZUBIRI
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