Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Norman Tansingco thanked the members of the House of Representatives for approving on the second reading the proposed Immigration Modernization Law.
Sponsored by Committee on Justice Chairperson Representative Juliet Marie Ferrer, the proposed law under House Bill 8203 has been tagged as a priority bill of the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC).
Ferrer, in her sponsorship speech, stated that the proposed law is in line with the economic agenda of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
She emphasized the importance of improving and modernizing immigration to stimulate economic growth, increase foreign investments, promote tourism, and create more employment opportunities.
The lawmaker also pointed out that immigration officers are among the lowest paid employees in government, with the position of Immigration Officer 1 holding only Salary Grade 11.
The bill was co-sponsored by Representatives Rufus Rodriguez, Elizaldy Co, Jurdin Jesus Romualdo, Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr., Miguel Luis Villafuerte, Tsuyoshi Anthony Horibata, Marcelino Libanan, Marie Bernadette Escudero, Gus Tambunting, Pablo John Garcia and Noel Rivera.
Representatives Rodriguez and Libanan both previously served as Commissioner of Immigration.
Congress approves proposed immigration law on 2nd reading
“The men and women of the Bureau thank Congress for recognizing the need for a modernized immigration law,” said Tansingco. “We operate on an 82-year-old law, and many of its provisions are no longer applicable in modern times. The passing of this new law is definitely a win for the Marcos administration,” he added.
Menanwhile, BI eyes forging a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with travel agencies to strengthen the fight against trafficking.
The collaborative effort, according to BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco, seeks to strengthen the commitment of the private sector in thwarting trafficking activities.
A similar agreement is likewise being eyed with both airline and shipping companies.
“This is inspired by the US model, where airline employees play a crucial role in reporting potential cases of trafficking,” said Tansingco. “We recognize the immense value of partnerships between law enforcement agencies and the private sector. As seen in incidents in the US, collaborations among agencies is instrumental in identifying and preventing trafficking incidents,” he added.