Saturday, April 8, 2017




I urge my colleagues on the House Committee on Justice to urgently tackle, as soon as the summer break is over, the five pending bills seeking either to create a Commission on Immigration or update the immigration law of our country.


The stop gap measures for the current immigration personnel woes at the NAIA are temporary in nature, but the long-overdue updating of the immigration legal infrastructure can address those overtime pay problems, which are symptomatic of or linked to the many ailments of the Bureau of Immigration and the immigration system.


As my colleague Representative Maximo B. Rodriguez, Jr. properly noted in his House Bill 1697, Congress has tried since the Fourteenth Congress to update our immigration law.


This cannot go on for long. The Seventeenth Congress ought to pass a new immigration law and send it to President Duterte for either signing or lapsing into law.


When the Committee of Justice approves the consolidated bill, I ask President Duterte to certify it as urgent. I also ask Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II to recommend the consolidated bill for certification as urgent, so it could be approved in time for implementation before the end of 2017 and allow the Justice Department time to approve the implementing rules and regulations.


We need to ascertain and solve the problems that have kept Congress from approving this legislation critical to our national security, mass transport system, and the administration of justice. (END)

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