The Bureau of Immigration (BI) warned aliens who are already overstaying in the country to regularize their stay or be deported for violation of immigration laws.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente issued the warning after immigration agents in Mindanao arrested an overstaying American in Samal Island, Davao del Norte.
George Pasciolla, 51, was arrested last October 12 on the strength of a warrant of deportation issued by Morente. Pasciolla is currently detained at the BI holding facility in Davao City pending his transfer to the Bureau’s detention center in Taguig City.
According to BI intelligence officer Melody Penbelope Gonzales, BI-Mindanao Intelligence Task Group head, Pasciolla was arrested after his estranged Filipina girlfriend complained that the former had been sending threatening text messages and harassing her for failing to support him financially.
Records showed that the American was placed in the Bureau’s blacklist on October last year for his continued failure to settle his fees with the Bureau as a foreign indigent.
BI warns overstaying aliens to regularize stay or be deported
“Overstaying aliens should present themselves to the Bureau to legalize their stay. If they do not have the capacity to support their stay here, then they should depart the country so as not to be a burden to society,” said Morente.
He pointed out that no less than the Philippine Immigration Act provides for the exclusion of aliens who are deemed as likely to become a public charge.
A public charge is oftentimes defined in Immigration parlance as a financially distressed alien who is dependent on government and society for support.
“Despite the pandemic, we have offices nationwide that are open to provide immigration services,” said Morente. “Foreign nationals are expected to abide by our laws during their stay in the country. Those who do not comply will be deported and blacklisted,” he added.
Meanwhile, BI also reminded foreign nationals intending to travel to the Philippines that they must secure the appropriate visa to be able to enter the country.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said the Philippines remains closed to foreign tourist due to the Covid-19 pandemic, following resolutions from the IATF-MEID, thus only aliens with valid and existing visas are allowed entry.