I learned that the spirit of Yuletide and thanksgiving filled the Christmas Party at the Bureau of Immigration (BI), highlighted by multi-ethnicity themed cosplay.
Indeed, the BI personnel have a lot of great things to thank the Lord Almighty for, which would sum up a great year for an agency steered by a great leader in the person of Commissioner Siegfred Mison.
In only his second year as BI chief, Mison effected significant reforms in terms of administrative services, as well as enforcement of the Philippine immigration law.
The “Bad Guys Out, Good Guys In” reform program continued this year, with the crackdown on scalawags among BI personnel and the stepped up drive against undocumented and undesirable aliens.
Also this year marked the successful conclusion of the special Alien Registration Program (ARP).
Just last week, the BI reportedly reached another milestone, exceeding the one-billion- peso mark in its income for tourist visa fees the first time ever.
Mison announced that the total income of BI’s tourist visa section amounted to P1,051,458,049.00, which is 7.4 percent higher from its 2014 income.
“While the BI is not mainly an income-generating agency, we commend our tourist visa section chief, Jonathan Jezreel Diaz, for this remarkable accomplishment. This affirms our commitment to contribute to national development,” Mison said.
Income on tourist visas account for one-third of the total income of the BI, the remaining two-thirds are comprised of income from other types of visas and a small portion for processing of certifications.
Unfortunately, BI revenues all go to the National Treasury, and BI actually get a much smaller budget than it needs to fulfill its mandate, as it faces more complex challenges at the country’s borders and within the archipelago.
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Now, while the few good men and women at BI have a lot of great things to thank God for, they also have one Christmas wish.
They wish that Mison would not be “forced to resign.”
This came up because, while Mison has done an outstanding job transforming the corruption-ridden agency into a potential model agency, he may yet be the next casualty of Malacañang and Liberal Party’s tuwad na daan politics.
With less than five months left till the May 9th 2016 elections, this one undeserving associate commissioner has reportedly started to “usurp” Mison’s authority by recalling some ill-reputed immigration officers, who have been either transferred to less graft-prone posts or who have gone AWOL.
In the wake of Associate Commissioner Gilbert Repizo’s involvement in the Wang Bo alleged bribery scandal, one wonders why does he seem to be running the BI?
Why did the President appoint Repizo, whose only credential is being the lawyer of P6-billion housing scam mastermind Delfin Lee?
Why did Noynoy reward Repizo, who is loser politician from Oriental Mindoro, just because he is allied to LP stalwart Governor Alfonso “Boy” Umali.
Nothing personal against this Repizo but I can’t help compare his minuscule qualifications to that of Mison, a West Point Graduate, an accomplished lawyer and a soldier.
Now with former Malacañang chief counsel Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa at the helm at the Department of Justice (DOJ), this undeserving and less-qualified Associate Commissioner has been designated “Commissioner Officer-in-Charge.”
Repizo might have done something extraordinary for the bureau that PNoy and Caguioa liked.
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