Duterte approves use of express lane fees for immigration workers' pay in 2019

MANILA, Philippines – As he did for the last fiscal year, President Rodrigo Duterte greenlighted the use of express lane fees and charges collected by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) for the salaries of its workers.

Malacañang released Memorandum Order No. 39, signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea "by authority of the President,"on Tuesday, October 1. It was signed on September 27.

It adopts Memorandum Order No 24, which allowed the use of the fees to increase BI workers' salaries, as guidelines for a special provision in the 2019 General Appropriations Act on the use of such fees.

The same memorandum order had been used in 2018 to augment BI personnel's salaries for that fiscal year.

LOOK: Malacañang approves use of express lane fees and other charges to increase salary of Bureau of Immigration personnel. @rapplerdotcom pic.twitter.com/9kcbfm7054 — Pia Ranada (@piaranada) October 1, 2019

The Palace, in once more approving such use of the express lane fees, recognized the "indispensability" of BI personnel and the "apparent disparity between the basic pay of BI employees and those of agencies performing comparable functions."

The order is also meant to promote "continuous and unhampered delivery of basic government services."

Need for new immigration law

Malacañang reiterated, however, that such approval of the use of express lane fees is only an interim measure for a problem that only a law can fix.

As in the previous year, the Palace said Congress gas to pass an immigration modernization law to update the low salaries of BI personnel.

The new memorandum order is effective from January 1 to December 31 of this year, or until the passage of an immigration modernization law. – Rappler.com



Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.