Intramuros, Manila
11 September 2012

During the celebration of the 72nd Founding Anniversary of Bureau of Immigration, President Benigno S. Aquino III reminded its employees to fulfil their duties and responsibilities as enforcers of immigration and human anti-trafficking laws.

“Tandaan po nating bawat pagkakamali ay maaaring magdulot ng peligro sa buhay at seguridad ng kapwa Pilipino. Kailangan nating ayusin ang bitak sa sistema,” the President said after stating three failed immigration cases including the unexplained disappearance of South Korean fugitive Kim Tae Dong, the alleged escape of brothers Joel and Mario Reyes who are prime suspects in Dr. Gerry Ortega’s death and the recent involvement of 378 foreigners in cybercrime and human trafficking syndicate.

President Aquino also expressed that it is vital to implement reforms in the bureau to achieve the 10 million tourist arrivals until 2016 and to assure that incoming foreigners contribute, not impair, in thecountry’s economic development.

Meanwhile, he also said that his administration supports the Bureau of Immigration Development Plan to show the Filipino public the new and changed government system. Part of the plan is the promotion of Philippine Immigration Act to protect the country from trafficking in persons, transnational crimes, drugs and terrorism. The establishment of new facilities, modernization of services and instalment of professional workers in the agency are also components of the development plan.

At the end of his speech, he challenged the members of the bureau to do what is right and beneficial for the common public.

He stated, “Patunayan nating nangingibabaw ang prinsipyo, laban sa tukso ng katiwalian. Patunayan nating sa tapat na paglilingkod-bayan, hindi lamang sa salita, kundi pati na sa isip at gawa, maihahandog natin sa bansa ang pangmatagalang kasaganahan.”

*  *  *