Two construction firms in Bicol in hot water

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SEVERAL small construction firms in the Bicol region want Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson to immediately suspend or ban two major construction companies for allegedly conspiring with some members of the bids and awards committee at the DPWH central office to corner fat contracts of the said agency these past few years.

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A reliable source at the department confirmed that Philworks Construction, owned and operated by one Grace De Leon, and NFH construction, whose owner is registered as a certain Nathaniel Uy, are now under investigation by the DPWH legal unit.

The same source, however, said that despite being under investigation, the two firms continue to be allowed by some officials of the department to join in the biddings for big projects and reportedly continue to corner hundreds of million worth of projects of the department, which has made the Bicol small time contractors fume in anger.

The complainant contractors said one doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out why these two firms have not been suspended yet by the DPWH.

Paging Sec. Singson…

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Showing hospitality and enforcing law at BI

Illegal aliens or foreigners involved in illegal activities may now be reported to the Bureau of Immigration (BI).

Its “Sa Immigration Magsumbong” program is actually a brilliant idea that past BI leaderships should have thought of.

Immigration Commissioner Siegfred B. Mison launched “Sa Immigration Magsumbong” after he extended the Alien Registration Program (ARP) by one full year. Let’s see where Mison is coming from.

Mison says up to 1,500,000 foreigners live in our country.

That’s one and a half percent of the country’s total population of 100,000,000 of additional people who use our public infrastructure and enjoy our natural resources.

Unfortunately, most foreigners living in the country fail to do their annual registration, and are now referred to as undocumented or “TNTs” (tago-nang-tago).

Foreign nationals staying in the country beyond 60 days are required to report in person at the BI offices in pursuant of Sec. 10 of the Alien Registration Act of 1950.

Before Mison was designated BI commissioner in December last year, apparently foreigners did not give a damn about registering with BI.

Such is particularly true of undesirable aliens involved in illegal activities and have been able to bribe corrupt BI officers.

It also runs counter to Mison’s policy of “Bad guys out, good guys in.”

So, it is for this reason that Mison launched “Sa Immigration Magsumbong” program which grants a P2,000 reward to a tipster who gives information that leads to the apprehension of an illegal alien.

Since it started a month ago, the campaign has resulted in a number of apprehensions mostly of foreigners admitted as tourists who have remained in the country beyond their allowed period of stay.

Others have gone out of status based on their temporary visas or permit and have not made the necessary arrangements with the BI to legalize their status.

Still others, mostly Chinese workers, were smuggled through the “back door” in Mindanao.

They end up in sweatshops or shopping malls in Divisoria, earning starvation wages.

Inevitably, undocumented Chinese and Indian nationals were mostly the subjects of tips, simply because they comprise the biggest groups of foreigners staying in the country.

Dozens and dozens of Chinese and Indian nationals have been apprehended in the past weeks since the launching of “Sa Immigration Magsumbong” program.

BI spokesperson Atty. Elaine Tan touted the support of the public by text messages, informing the BI of the whereabouts of foreigners.

BI’s National Operations Center (BINOC) can be reached through text message (SMS) to the following mobile phone numbers: Globe: +63917-573-3871 ; Smart: +63908-894-6644 ; Sun: +63932-894-6644.

Reports must be sent in the following format: SIM <space> Full Name of Foreigner <space> Complete Address <space> Name of Informant.

Mison said the “Sa Immigration Mo Isumbong” program actually complements the ongoing Alien Registration Program (ARP), which commenced on October 1, 2014 and ends September 30, 2015.

I believe this is the first time the BI has done this.

Mison pointed out that it is rather the policy of the BI to encourage foreigners in the country to voluntarily appear at the BI offices and legalize their status.

It gives the opportunity to those overstaying foreigners to correct and adjust their status without having to be arrested.

“These ‘registrants-in-good-faith’ may be provided with appropriate visa options and/or other lawful remedies to regularize their stay in the country,” says Mison.

I’d say Mison himself has shown good faith in extending genuine Filipino hospitality, as well as enforcing the provisions of the country’s immigration law.

etulfo2011@yahoo.com

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2 Comments

  1. I hope this is not just a way to get some more campaign funds for the ruling party. it is an open secret that government people had been milking foreigners in exchange of deportation, you can just see how the number of foreign nationals on bikes doing their “Pahulugan” or 5/6 business all over the country unmolested. over staying and illegal business is a crime but no one is concerned.Why?your guess is as good as mine.