Commission on Migrant Filipinos barred by the senators from collecting Php 400 as a registration fee in line with their proposal to include a provision in the 2022 national budget during the subcommittee hearing on October 11.
During the deliberation of the Php 139.133 million proposed budget of commission for 2022, the chairman of the Senate committee on finance, Senator Sonny Angara, asked about the legal basis of the collection. The commission failed to explain the grounds and reasons of the Php 400 collection in the registration fee to the statesmen. There was no legal basis for the group, and it is considered to be “unauthorized”.
On the other hand, Secretary Francisco Acosta’s CFO deferred to administrative and finance director Mario Garcia and eventually passed the responsibility to another official. In this manner, Senator Joel Villanueva, the presider of the subcommittee hearing, was displeased.
“Nakakatatlong pasahan na kayo ng bola, pwede bang isa na lang ‘yong sasagot… you can’t just collect because you want to collect,” said Villanueva.
According to Garcia, the CFO charges a registration fee of Php 400 for Filipino emigrants and other clients departing the country. We have been asking the Board of Commissioners to increase because lahat nag-increase na. But Senator Angara points out that their charges must be based on the law.
“Again, the question remains unanswered. Like the OWWA, they charge, I think $25, for OFWs who depart, and that goes toward an OWWA trust fund. That answers for repatriation, training of OFWs when they lose their job and return — and the basis of that is the OWWA Charter…the reason these people are leaving is that they have no money. They have no jobs here in the Philippines…yet we are imposing all these on them,” Angara added.
However, Senator Franklin Drilon, said no provision in the BP 79 permits the collection of the Php 400 registration fee or any other fees. He also observed that the report from the CFP was lacking.
Moreover, the commission 2022 budget was lower than its Php 157 million allocations for this year.
Image credits: Philippine News Agency