During a Thursday evening speech on Feb 8, House Speaker Martin Romualdez assured Filipinos that lawmakers are not seeking political changes to the 1987 Constitution.
“At the risk of being makulit (repetitive), we have been saying that we do not advocate any political amendment,” Romualdez said during the Constitution Day at the Shangrila Hotel, Makati City.
The Philconsa head, Romualdez, joined President Marcos at the function where Marcos was the honored attendee. The leader of the House approved of Marcos’ urgent call to revise the economic limits in the Constitution, aligning with Romualdez’s own stance.
“The President made it clear that these provisions hinder the entry of foreign investments and the potential for faster and inclusive economic growth, which in turn could translate into a better life for every Filipino,” he said.
“We are happy that he also took note of our consistent advocacy in the House of Representatives for changing those restrictive provisions for more than three decades since the 8th Congress, or since 36-37 years ago,” Romualdez said.
The congressman from the 1st district of Leyte praised the President’s solid pledge confirming his backing for change is purely economic—nothing else.
E-gates set for upgrade for label-free processing
Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Norman Tansingco said that they are set to upgrade the electronic gates deployed at the country’s international airports.
Tansingco said that they are currently in the process of integrating the data of airlines to connect with the e-gates, further lessen the steps required for passengers.
The BI Chief said that they have received reports that some passengers are unable to use the e-gates when their flight record is not yet integrated in the system. Due to this, passengers have to transfer to regular counters to be processed manually.
As a result of the upgrade, travelers can expect the removal of the scanning of boarding passes when using the e-gates. Tansingco said this can further lessen the processing time for arriving passengers.
“Our e-gates are also being reconfigured to be label-free,” said Tansingco. “Instead of printing a sticker to be attached on the passport, passengers will receive an email acknowledging their arrival. This is the best practice that we are emulating from other countries,” he added.
Tansingco shared that for 2024, as part of the BI’s contribution to Bagong Pilipinas efforts, they have initiated the procurement of more e-gates to replace 25% of their manual operations in major international airports.
“We thank the public for their cooperation and understanding as we navigate through the birth pains of this evolving technology to ease immigration processing,” he stated.