Sen. Bam eyes permanent residency for religious workers, missionaries like Sister Fox

In light of the deportation order against Sister Patricia Fox, Senator Bam Aquino renewed his call for the passage of his measure seeking to give permanent residency to foreign religious workers and missionaries as recognition of their work to promote the welfare of the poor.

“Foreign religious workers like Sister Fox are partners for change. Many of them are fighting for the rights and welfare of the poor through outreach work and social missions,” Sen. Bam said in Senate Bill No. 702 or the Permanent Residency to Qualified Religious Workers Act.

In his measure, which was filed last July 20, 2016, Sen. Bam emphasized that foreign religious workers have sacrificed a lot, including leaving the comfort of their homes and their families, just to serve the Filipino people.

“These are devoted individuals who intend to live the rest of their lives serving the Filipino people,” Sen. Bam stressed.

The measure seeks to amend Commonwealth Act No. 613, otherwise known as the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940, to spare foreign religious from burdensome requirements and procedures to stay in the country and performing their chosen vocation here that benefits our communities.

“This bill seeks to assist the many religious workers who have already dedicated long years of their lives to their missionary work and vocation in the country,” said Sen. Bam.

According to the senator, the measure is also aimed at updating the antiquated immigration law to better address the changing needs and demands of the increasing globalized and interconnected international community.

Earlier, Sen. Bam condemned the deportation order against Sister Fox, saying the government overlooked the missionary’s help to poor Filipinos just because she fought for their cause.

“Binalewala ng administrasyon ang ilang taong pagtulong ni Sister Patricia Fox sa mahihirap na Pilipino dahil siya’y nakikiisa sa kanilang ipinaglalaban,” said Sen. Bam. “Lantaran na ang panggigipit sa mga taong lumalaban at hindi sunud-sunuran.”

Sen. Bam has committed to file a resolution to investigate possible abuses in the deportation of foreign nationals. In the 16th Congress, Sen. Bam filed Senate Resolution No. 260 to ensure that the freedom of expression of foreign nationals is not curtailed.

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