BONTOC, Mountain Province – The Regional Development Council (RDC) and the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) in the Cordillera passed a resolution requesting President Rodrigo R. Duterte to certify as urgent the passage of a new Philippine immigration law in the upcoming 18th Congress.
The resolution was passed by the two regional bodies chaired by Baguio City Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan during their scheduled first quarter meeting last Tuesday held at the newly rehabilitated Bontoc municipal capitol.
The resolution stated that the Cordillera will also benefit from the passage of a new Philippine immigration law that will address policy deficiencies in border control security and in regulating the activities of foreign nationals in the different parts of the country. Earlier, the RDC of Region 12 furnished the RDC-CAR with a copy of its resolution which requested President Duterte to certify as urgent the passage of a new Phi9lippine immigration law pending before the 17th Congress and seeking for support and appropriate action.
However, the RDC-CAR noted that there is already limited session days remaining in the 17th Congress which is expected to resume its sessions on May 20, 2019, thus, it is appropriate to address the approved resolution to the 18th Congress.
Commonwealth Act 613 also known as the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940 enacted on August 26, 1940 provides the rules and procedures on the control and regulation of the entry, sojourn, stay, and exit of foreign nationals in the Philippines.
The resolution pointed out that the Philippine Immigration Law could be considered as one of the antiquated statues in the country with provisions found to be inefficient, ineffective, and insufficient in addressing current challenges of national security brought on by globalization, advancement and science and technology, innovations in global immigration practices, and the emergence of different border security issues involving the proliferation of terrorist groups, illegal drugs, smuggling, human trafficking, and other forms of trans-national crimes.
According to the joint RDC-CAR and RPOC-CAR resolution, peace, order and security are necessary for the attainment of inclusive growth and sustainable development, thus, Chapter 18 of the Cordillera Regional Development Plan 2017-2022 urgently calls for the reduction of criminality and terrorist activities at the regional levels.
On February 15, 2018 in the first quarter meeting by the RDC-CAR sectoral committee on development administration and good governance, the committee unanimously adopted the campaign of the Bureau of Immigration against the presence of illegal aliens in the region.
Further, the same was subsequently approved through RDC-RPOC Resolution No. 08, series of 2018 which urged all Cordillera local government units to support the campaign of the Bureau of Immigration against the presence of illegal aliens in the different parts of the region dated February 23, 2108.
The newly approved RDC-RPOC resolution will be transmitted to both chambers of Congress of the Philippines for information and appropriate action and for consideration, especially for the new composition of the 18th Congress which will be known after the conduct of the May 13, 2019 mid-term elections.
By Dexter A. See