Aliens urged to register at BI or face deportation

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/30 September) — The Bureau of Immigration (BI)-Surigao office will launch the Alien Registration Program this October to account all the foreigners in Surigao del Norte,.

Carlos F. de Peralta, acting alien control officer of BI-Surigao said the registration process will start on October 1 and end on September 30 next year.

“This program aims to account, register, re-register, capture information, update BI alien data base and would provide assistance for visa-related problems,” he told MindaNews.

Peralta admitted there are a few overstaying aliens in the province.

He said aliens registered under this program may become primary beneficiaries of future social integration and legalization programs of the government.

In a statement, BI Commissioner Siegfred Mison said there are around 1.5 million foreigners in the country but only about 200,000 are registered with the BI.

Mison said foreigners staying beyond the allowable 59 days are required by law to register with the BI.

With the new Alien Registration Program, Mison said they will be giving overstaying aliens in the country a one-year grace period to register with any of the 43 immigration offices nationwide.

The official assured overstaying aliens who will register with the bureau that they will not be deported as long as they are not facing any criminal charges.

But he warned that those who would fail to register within the one-year grace period would be deported.

Mison also stressed that foreigners facing criminal charges in the Philippines or in other countries will also be deported.

“Even if you register but you’re a fugitive, we will still deport you,” he said.

“So it is not really immunity, it is not parang blanket authority na you can do anything in this country kasi nag-register kayo dito sa amin,” he added. (Roel N. Catoto/MindaNews)