Foreign residents in Davao advised to report to BI

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Monday, January 13, 2014


SOME 5,600 registered foreign residents are expected to flock the Bureau of Immigration (BI) from January 2 to February 28 for the annual report by nationality, an official said.

In December 2013, BI issued memorandum Circular SBM 2013-002, requiring registered foreign residents to report in person to BI's district offices and main office.

The memo states: "Section 10 of R.A. (Republic Act) 562 or the Alien Registration Act of 1950 and existing regulations required all registered aliens to report in person to the Bureau of Immigration (BI) or to any of its offices within the first sixty (60) days of every calendar year."

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Port of Davao alien control officer Eddie P. Delima, in an interview with Sun.Star Davao, said around 5,000 foreign residents will be coming from Davao City, 500 from General Santos City, and another 100 from Cotabato City.

"They (those from Gensan and Cotabato cities) will be coming here because the BI offices in Cotabato and General Santos do not have photo capturing equipment that is directly linked to the central office in Manila," he said.

Delima said most of the nationalities who will be coming in to report are Indians, who comprise at least 10 percent of the foreign residents. They are followed by Chinese (8%-9%), Koreans (7%), and Americans and Japanese (5%). The remaining percentage will be other nationalities from the other continents.

He said around 30 percent of those who will be reporting have working visas and are mostly Chinese, Indian, and Korean businessmen. Those holding student visas also comprise 30 percent of those who will be reporting and are mostly Koreans.

"The remaining percentage is those foreigners who are married to Filipinos. Most of whom are retirees from Europe or the Americas. There are Japanese and Chinese nationals in our records," Delima said.

According to the memorandum, registered residents shall submit the following in making the annual report: (1) Original Alien Certificate of Registration Identity Card (ACR I-Card) or paper-based ACR; and (2) duly notarized and accomplished application form.

According to BI, the ACR I-Card "is a microchip-based credit card-sized identification card issued to registered alien" that contains their data, like personal information, date and status of immigration, and biometric information, to name a few.

Foreigners can apply for the ACR I-Card at the main office in Manila or at their district offices.

The card serves also as the Emigration Clearance Certificate (ECC), Re-entry Permit (RP) and Special Return Certificate (SRC) of the holder.

The application form for the annual report can be retrieved from the agency's website, www.immigration.gov.ph.

Delima said that at the Port of Davao, they have devised a system to east the traffic and the hassle of the annual reporting.

"We have group those who will becoming by nationality," he said.

January 2 to 10 has been designated for Indians, while January 13 to 24 is for Chinese nationals, January 27 to February 7 for Amercians and Germans, February 10 to 22 for Koreans and Japanese, and February 24 to 28 will be open to all nationalities. Other nationalities may come early before their designated week.

"Since the start of the annual report, we have catered to around 550 individuals. We still have a long way to go. With the rate we are going, we are confident that we will be able to finish early," Delima said.

If they are not able to report during the set period, they will be fined P200 per month starting on March. (Reuel John F. Lumawag)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 13, 2014.

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