Duterte orders BI, NAIA revamp, checking of gov’t overregulation

Published March 5, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

PUNCHLINE

By FRED M. LOBO

 

Fred M. Lobo
Fred M. Lobo

President Duterte has announced a revamp of the of Bureau of Immigration (BI) in the wake of graft and corruption and related irregularities.

Heads will roll, including those of close friends and political allies, The Punisher vowed.

***

The major BI revamp will come after Bureau of Immigration (BI)  Commissioner Jaime Morenteinitially ordered  Thursdaylast week a reshuffle of all immigration personnel assigned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

“Pastillas” scam  or grease money for entering Chinese nationals poisons Immigration bureau. Cleansing should immediately follow.

***

The President said that he was completing the lists of those to be fired at the BI, including top officials who are his fraternity brothers or political supporters since he ran for mayor of Davao City for presdident, for alleged involvement in irregularities.

“Sorry, but you failed me and betrayed the country so you have to go,” the President said.

***

Malacanang said BI Commissioner Jaime Morente may be spared by the President from the revamp if evidence shows that he is not involved in the irregularities.

Whistle-blowers told the Senate in a hearing that the “pastillas” scam involves the payment of P10,000 per Chinese national, especially so-called POGO workers, entering the country.

***

The  President said earlier he has decided to keep Morente for now but asked him to cooperate with the official investigation into the alleged “pastillas” bribery scam.

***

The President added he asked the Civil Service Commission to submit a list of competent contenders to replace the erring immigration personnel.

***

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra also said he is looking into the bribery scheme where immigration personnel are given bribes in exchange of the easy entry of Chinese workers in online gaming hubs..

***

Morente had said earlier that the NAIA revamp covered some 500 immigration officers (IOs) at three terminals of the airport but port operations division chief Grifton Medina was retainedin  the meantime , leaving his fate to Justice Secretary Guevara who signed his appointment.

Personnel movement was in compliance with the President’s initial  directive, the BI chief said.

***

Immigration officer Allison Chiong told a recent Senate inquiry that he and some of his colleagues received bribe money from tour operators to facilitate the entry of Chinese tourists to work for the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO).

***

Morente pointed out that the assistance of the National Bureau of Investigation hasbeen sought in  the probe to include private entities that act as recruiters of aliens as mentioned in the Senate probe.

***

Duterte  issued Administrative Order No. 23 to promote efficiency in government processes by eliminating “overregulation.”

“Increasing competitiveness and the ease of doing business are pillars of this Administration’s Ten-Point Socio-economic Agenda,” he said.

***

“Excessive regulations at all levels of government which are more than necessary to implement their respective mandates create high cost on businesses, inhibit job creation, and discourage private sector investment,”  he said.

“In pursuit of the reforms directed herein, the entirety of an agency’s processes for the availing of its services shall be subject to scrutiny, from the most established and long-standing aspects thereof to the most recent,” the order read.

“The imposition of tedious or time-consuming regulations on socially beneficial activities, as to render such activity impossible or extremely difficult to undertake, shall be targeted for reform,” it added.

***

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) has ordered offshore gaming operators to surrender their Chinese nationals who are illegally working in the country.

“The Chinese Embassy in the Philippines has repeatedly issued consular reminders and has been keeping close communications with the Philippine government in this regard. The relevant departments of both countries also conducted a series of law enforcement cooperation,” the embassy also said in a statement.

***

State-run Pagcor said it welcomed the Chinese embassy measures,  including the crackdown on its nationals with criminal records who are illegally working or doing business in the country.

Philipppine law enforcement agencies will now ensure that proper regulations are observed, it said.

***

“With China’s recent move, illegal Chinese workers who are involved in various cybercrime fraud – including those who are employed in the POGOs – will have to face the consequences,” Pagcor said.

 
CLICK HERE TO SIGN-UP
 

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

["news","news"]
[2052578,2874453,2874428,2874404,2874392,2874382,2874378]