The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Tuesday underscored the need for the BI modernization bill to be passed into law to further digitalize and improve its services. The BI made the remark after the House of Representatives approved on its third and final reading House Bill No. 8203 or the proposed BI Modernization Act. During the Laging Handa public briefing, BI deputy spokesperson Melvin Mabulac said the existing immigration law was long established since the 1940s. ‘Talagang lumang-luma na po ito. Hindi na po siya angkop sa pangangailangan at sa mode of transportation sa ngayon. Napakaimportante na magkaroon ng bagong immigration law na makakaagapay at makakasagot sa pangangailangan ng ating panahon (This [law] is really old. It’s no longer applicable to the needs and modes of transportation nowadays. It’s really important to have a new immigration law that shall guide and resolve the needs of [modern] times),’ he said. Mabulac said the bill is timely to ensure that the BI shall be able to adhere to the administration’s efforts to digitalize government services and transactions. ‘Ito po ay pagsunod din sa ating pangulo na kung saan we are trying to digitize ‘yung mga sistema natin para mas mapabilis natin ‘yung ating pagbibigay ng serbisyo sa ating mga kababayan at mga kliyente na (This is also in line to the President’s order wherein we are trying to digitalize our system to streamline services to our fellow Filipinos and clients) within the realm of immigration,’ he added. With the modernization of the immigration system, Mabulac said less intervention shall be expected from personnel, which also means reducing the possibility of corruption. He also highlighted the significance of securing an Immigration Trust Fund under the proposed law, which shall entail resources to avail quality technology for a more seamless and secured service in the country’s borders. Besides modernization, the bill, if passed into law, shall also benefit immigration personnel with stable and regular positions, higher salary grades and benefits. Meanwhile, the BI is trying to improve its border security to ensure national safety and public health. “We are planning to install additional e-gate. At the same time, the advanced camera and biometric, we are fixing these, we are just improving it,” Mabulac said in mixed English and Filipino.
Source: Philippines News Agency