Press Release
August 10, 2019

Zubiri wants immigration policy institutionalized to invite foreign respect and confidence

To establish the Philippines as a formidable force in the international scene, the government must first institutionalize our immigration policies, Senate Majority Floor Leader Juan Miguel "Migz" Zubiri said.

Zubiri, in filing Senate Bill No. 107 or the Philippine Immigration Act, proposed 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.

Under the proposed measure, the 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.

It 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 in all corners of the Philippines.

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," Zubiri stressed.

"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," Zubiri said.

"By elevating the State's immigration measures, the Philippines 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," Zubiri added.

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