De Lima dares Immigration to step up drive against crooks

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JUSTICE Secretary Leila de Lima is not impressed with the improvements flaunted by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) in recent months.

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In her welcome remarks during the bureau’s 74th anniversary, De Lima said they “need to act faster, more efficiently and effectively because there are still individuals who slip through” the fingers of the authorities.

“We have to strengthen and further galvanize our campaign against fixers, syndicates and other nefarious elements operating within the Bureau of Immigration, who prey on members of the public, foreigners and Filipinos alike,” De Lima said.

De Lima however lauded Immigration chief Siegfried Mison for his “dynamic leadership” and the “various initiatives” that he has taken to improve its services.

“I heartily welcome and acknowledge such steps. Yet, you know, as well as I, that more needs to be done. There are still areas and rooms for improvement,” she said.

The secretary has told the bureau to prepare for international events that the Philippines will host in 2015.

Beginning next year, the Philippines will be the venue for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit, where world leaders will discuss the collective economic future and direction of the country.

Pope Francis is scheduled to visit the country in January, and the Department of Tourism has declared 2015 as “Visit the Philippines Year.”

ROBERTZON F. RAMIREZ

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