A party-list lawmaker on Thursday filed a bill seeking to reorganize and modernize the Bureau of Immigration (BI).
Rep. Marcelino Libanan of 4PS partylist group cited the need for Congress to review the existing immigration laws, and come up a new one.
“As the government agency in charge of controlling the entry and admissions of foreigners and migrants within our borders, it is crucial that the BI is in tune with the modern times in the interest of our national security and economic development,” Libanan said.
He described the existing immigration law as “very restrictive.”
“The BI remains to be governed by Commonwealth Act 613 otherwise known as the Philippine Immigration Act 1940 – an eighty-decade old legislation which has been outdated by the constant evolution of international migration,”
In the proposed immigration law under House Bill 1069, the Philippine immigration policies, rules and regulations shall be applied and administered as instruments for the promotion of domestic and external interests of the Philippines in recognition of the necessity for encouraging and enhancing capital investments, trade and commerce, cultural exchanges and other forms of friendly relations and cooperation.
“We will transform the Bureau of Immigration into an investor and tourist-friendly office,” Libanan added.
Libanan said he hopes that a modernized BI will support the government’s program of ease in doing business in the Philippines that will further encourage more foreigners to invest and visit to our country, resulting in increased economic activities and business opportunities especially to our micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
One of the key programs of the 4PS Partylist is to support the advancement and progress of livelihood opportunities of MSMEs in order to attain the sector’s social and economic prosperity.
“Hopefully, with a reinvigorated economy, less Filipinos will leave the country as overseas workers,” he concluded.