Drilon asks DFA to stop collecting allegiance fees
MANILA, Philippines – Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon urged the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to stop collecting allegiance fees from Filipinos who want to reacquire their Philippine citizenship.
"The DFA should immediately stop the collection of the allegiance fee from Filipinos in various parts of the world, who are applying to reacquire their Philippine citizenship under the Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003 (Republic Act 9225)," Drilon said in a statement on Thursday, November 2.
The senator said the collection of an allegiance fee amounting to around 45 euros was an issue raised by the Filipino community in Spain and Andora.
Drilon said the DFA is "not an income-generating institution" and that it exists to serve Filipino citizens abroad.
In addition, he said that "bureaucratic requirements" have discouraged Filipinos from availing themselves of the benefits under the law.
"It would not help us to convince our fellow Filipinos, who have lost their Filipino citizenship, if we continue to burden them with heavy fees," he added.
Drilon said that under RA 9225, natural-born Filipinos who lost their citizenship through naturalization in a foreign country may reacquire his or her Philippine citizenship by taking an oath of allegiance to the country before a duly authorized Philippine official.
The person who takes the oath is not required to renounce his allegiance to any other country.
Drilon, who authored the law in 2003, filed Senate Bill 19 in 2016. The bill seeks to amend the 2003 law and simplify the process through which Philippine citizenship is retained or reacquired. – Rappler.com