Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Probe sought in Philippine congress on issuance of special resident visas

A house leader in the Philippines filed a resolution on Tuesday to initiate a congressional inquiry into the issuance of special resident visas.

Deputy Majority Leader and ACT-CIS Party-list Representative Erwin Tulfo also wants to see the delayed registration of births investigated, claiming these could be enabling the influx of Chinese nationals into the Philippines.

Representative Erwin Tulfo, Probe sought in Philippine congress on issuance of special resident visas

Tulfo, through House Resolution 1771, suggested that the processes for granting the Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV) and Special Investor’s Resident Visa (SIRV), along with late birth registrations, should be assessed. He pointed out these could be channels for foreign nationals to enter, stay indefinitely, and work in the Philippines.

Tulfo highlighted that around 30,000 Chinese nationals were granted permanent residency despite not meeting the age requirements for retiree visas.

“Immigration Bureau records show that of the 78,000 foreigners issued retiree visas, 30,000 are Chinese. It’s puzzling because they haven’t reached retirement age; they are between 35 to 50 years old,” Tulfo stated.

He argued that these policies might be circumventing laws, undermining Philippine authorities, and facilitating illegal activities by foreign nationals.

Probe sought in Philippine congress on issuance of special resident visas

“It is crucial to evaluate the impact of SRRVs, SIRVs, and delayed birth registrations that may have contributed to the influx of Chinese nationals, ensuring these policies align with national interests and security,” Tulfo added.

Tulfo raised concerns about the socioeconomic impact, including labor market dynamics, national security, and public order, due to the influx of Chinese nationals.

He linked several crimes to this influx, such as human trafficking, scamming, kidnapping, illegal detention, prostitution, and other fraudulent practices.

“Recent raids on POGOs (Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators) establishments revealed criminal activities and living facilities within these hubs, indicating a prolonged presence,” Tulfo noted.

He also mentioned the case of suspended Bamban, Tarlac Mayor Alice Guo (see above image), highlighting risks in the delayed registration of births process.

Tulfo warned that such processes could allow non-nationals to engage in social, economic, and political activities reserved for Filipino citizens, including running for or holding public office.

Guo, under scrutiny for her identity and citizenship, was suspended for six months without pay by the Office of the Ombudsman on May 31st due to complaints from the Department of the Interior and Local Government for grave misconduct, serious dishonesty, gross neglect of duty, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.

Authorities have raided POGO firms in Tarlac and Pampanga over the past four months for alleged “scamming activities” and other serious concerns, including national security.

Frank Schuengel
Frank Schuengel
Frank Schuengel is an online gambling industry veteran with over twenty years of experience in Europe and Asia. Equally at home in the Isle of Man and the Philippines, he started his career as a sports trader before setting up and running whole operations, and more recently focusing on the regulatory and licensing side of things in the worlds of fiat and crypto eGaming. When he is not writing about gambling topics, he can be found cycling around Manila and advocating sustainable transport solutions for a Philippines based mobility magazine.

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