Posted December 07, 2018 08:17:31The Philippines is on the brink of a potentially major political and economic crisis.
As the country gears up for presidential elections later this year, the prospects for the Philippines’ transition to a more democratic political system are also looking bleak.
On Thursday, the President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, signed into law the controversial Immigration Regulation and Border Protection Act.
This bill has been in the works for almost two years, and is the first significant piece of legislation aimed at addressing the problem of migrants arriving from the Philippines illegally.
Under the law, all Filipino residents and foreign nationals will be required to apply for a visa in order to enter the country.
The act, which is currently awaiting final approval by the Senate, was introduced last year in response to a rise in illegal immigration in the country, which peaked at about 1.5 million in the first half of the year.
The bill is now being brought before Congress for a vote, but if passed, it would be the first of its kind in the region.
Currently, all Filipinos and foreigners arriving from abroad are required to submit to a fingerprint check, a DNA test, and a physical check at the border.
The government is expected to announce a number of changes to the law before the start of the presidential election later this month.
The most notable of these will be the addition of a “no entry” clause to the legislation, which would require that all Filipino citizens applying for visas in the Philippines and foreign residents applying for permanent residence in the US are fingerprinted at the Philippine border.
The clause is meant to deter illegal migration from the country into the US.
However, the inclusion of the “no-entry” clause has been met with criticism from critics.
Many Filipinos argue that it will make it harder for them to enter and reside in the United States and, more importantly, for them not to be subject to border checks.
The National Border Patrol Council (NBPC), a group of border patrol agents and agents of the Philippine Customs Service (PCS), have expressed concerns that the bill will allow Filipinos who enter the US illegally to avoid border checks and be allowed to remain in the nation for as long as they like.
Many of the critics argue that the “No-Entry” clause will only serve to open the Philippines up to the same kinds of complaints made by many migrants who are currently in the territory of other countries.
Some critics also point to the “border adjustment assistance” program, which has been proposed as a possible alternative to the No-Entry clause, which aims to grant Filipino migrants who enter illegally a way to enter legally.
This program, however, is being proposed to be a major part of the Filipino-American bilateral relations, which the government has stated will be at the core of the country’s future economic and foreign policy goals.
The NBPC also criticized the proposed law on Thursday, arguing that it would only increase the burden on the Filipino citizens and foreign citizens currently living in the PH.
“If there is a negative impact on our citizens, there will be no need for the law to exist,” said NBP chief executive officer Robert Abo.
“The fact is, it will simply exacerbate the problem, not solve it.”
The NBPP added that it is unlikely that the law would actually improve the lives of Filipinos, since it will have no effect on the estimated 12 million undocumented migrants currently residing in the border areas of the PH, but it could be a step in the right direction.