THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) justified the collection of a fee from Filipinos abroad who wanted to reacquire their Philippine citizenship, saying it was not an “allegiance fee” but was authorized under a circular issued by the Bureau of Immigration (BI).
Foreign Affairs Spokesman Robespierre Bolivar said the €45, equivalent to $50 or more than P2,500, was a “one-time fee for the processing of the application and issuance of the corresponding Identification Certificates” of the applicants.
He added that the fee for “dual citizenship” was authorized under Memorandum Circular No. MCL-08-006 2008 and Circular No. AFF-04-01 promulgated by Immigration (BI) for the implementation of Republic Act 9225 or the Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003.
Immigration is the implementing agency of the Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition act.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon asked the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to stop collecting €45 as “allegiance fee” from Filipinos applying for the reacquisition of their citizenship.
As author of RA 9225, Drilon said the additional burden being imposed by the DFA discouraged Filipinos from availing of dual citizenship.
“The DFA is not an income-generating institution. It exists for the service of Filipinos abroad,” the minority leader said after learning about the fee during a meeting with the Filipino community in Spain. JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA