SEN. Panfilo Lacson on Saturday pushed for the prosecution of personnel of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) and the Land Transportation Office (LTO), who provide Chinese tourists identification documents.
“Physical and other forms of security concerns should always be our top priority, especially in this day and age of incredibly fast-moving technology, not to mention the recent incursions in the West Philippine (South China) Sea and the massive presence of Chinese in the country,” Lacson said.
“What is more worrying is the petty corruption involving some employees of regulatory agencies like the LTO and the Immigration bureau, where identification documents like a driver’s license or a temporary work permit are easily obtained, mostly by Chinese tourists through bribery involving unscrupulous officials,” he added.
Lacson, chairman of the Senate Committee on Defense and National Security, said these unscrupulous employees and officials should be unmasked and prosecuted for endangering the country’s security.
“I hope the heads of these agencies can do something to check on these anomalies as soon as possible,” he said.
Earlier, Sen. Emmanuel Joel Villanueva, chairman of the Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development committee, proposed to remove from the BI the authority to issue temporary special working permits (SWPs) to foreigners.
Villanueva said the task of issuing work permits should be delegated to the Department of Labor and Employment, which issues long-term alien employment permits.
SWPs are valid for three months and can be extended for another three months.