Tulfo seeks probe on issuance of docus enabling influx of Chinese nat’ls in PH

June 17, 2024 Jester P. Manalastas 170 views

HOUSE Deputy Majority Leader and ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Erwin Tulfo is set to file a resolution urging Congress to investigate the processes for the issuance of Special Resident Retiree’s Visas (SRRV), Special Investor’s Resident Visa (SIRV), and the delayed registration of births as possible avenues enabling the influx of Chinese nationals in the Philippines.

Based on the reports of the Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA), of the at least 79, 000 foreign retirees in the Philippines, more than 30, 000 Chinese “retirees” were allowed to permanently reside in the country.

“Nakababahala ang patuloy na pagdagsa ng mga Chinese nationals sa ating bansa at ang mas nakababahala ay kung paano sila nakapasok sa atin? Ano ang mga pinanghahawakan nilang dokumento bakit sila nakapag-trabaho ng legal sa ating bansa,” Tulfo said in a statement.

The lawmaker also said that what is alarming is that the PRA has been accepting retirees who are at least 35 years old since 1991.

However, the age requirement was only raised to 50 years old in April 2021.

“Imagine, 35 years old na mga Chinese nationals ang binigyan natin ng SRRV? Ganyan ang edad ng kalakasan ng tao, bakit retirement visa ang gamit nila? E pwede nga silang sundalo sa edad na 35 years old,” Tulfo pointed out.

“The influx of Chinese nationals has raised concerns regarding the socio-economic impact, including but not limited to labor market dynamics, national security, and public order,” Tulfo added.

He lamented that several crimes were linked to the Chinese influx, including human trafficking, scamming, kidnapping, illegal detention, prostitution, and other fraudulent practices.

Tulfo also noted that the recent raids of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operation (POGO) establishments not only resulted in traces of criminal activity thereat but also in the discovery of offices, dorms, villas, and lifestyle facilities within such hubs, indicating prolonged presence and actual living situations within supposed business establishments.

“There are several processes and privileges in place that enable foreign nationals to enter and exit the Philippines and indefinitely stay for purposes of employment, investment, and retirement, including the issuance of the SRRV and SIRV by the Philippine Retirement Authority and the Board of Investors, respectively,” Tulfo said.

“While intended for legitimate purposes for the economic development of the country, the SRRV and SIRV may be prone to abuse, especially by Chinese nationals, who wish to avail of exemptions from immigration requirements and certain taxes and fees, entitling them to work, study, invest, and freely transact with the Philippine government,” the lawmaker added.

Tulfo cited the case of Bamban, Tarlac Mayor Alice Guo, where authorities also uncovered uncertainties and potential risks for abuse in the process of delayed registration of births, which have long-term consequences, including ultimately allowing non-nationals to participate in various social, economic, and political activities, such as running for or holding public office, reserved only for Filipino citizens.

“It is imperative to assess the foregoing governmental processes in place that allow foreign nationals, especially Chinese citizens, to enter the country, stay indefinitely herein, and even maintain employment in the Philippines,” Tulfo further said.

He added that there is also a need to ascertain the current statistics and the processes of delayed registration of births, especially for those who have a history of or are currently running for or holding public office, to ensure the authenticity of personal records and to prevent deception of the general public.

“Possible circumvention of our laws through the existing policies on SIRV, SRRV, and delayed registration of births undermines the Philippine authorities and aids in the perpetration of illegal activities in the country committed by foreign nationals,” Tulfo claimed, adding that it is imperative to assess the impact of the SRRVs, SIRVs, and delayed registration of births, which may have contributed to the influx of Chinese nationals.

Tulfo said he will also request his colleagues from the ACT-CIS party-list including Reps. Edvic Yap and Jocelyn Tulfo, Benguet Rep. Eric Yap, and Quezon City Rep. Ralph Wendel Tulfo, to be his co-authors in the said resolution.