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BI inspects dredging vessels in Manila Bay reclamation sites

Dredging vessel

Following concerns on their activities in the area, dredging vessels located in reclamation sites in Pasay City were inspected by Bureau of Immigration (BI) personnel on Friday.

Conducted with the Philippine Coast Guard, the inspection led by officers of the BI’s Bay Service Section and Intelligence Division also came following an order by President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., suspending all reclamation activities in Manila Bay. The Department of Environment and Natural Resource (DENR) likewise pledged to conduct community impact assessment to ensure that the reclamation will be implemented within the bounds of the law.

BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco said the inspection was conducted to ensure that foreign nationals involved in the project are compliant with immigration laws.

“Apart from the national government being concerned with the project, we also want to do our share by inspecting foreigners on board said vessels to confirm their compliance with immigration laws,” said Tansingco, adding that foreign nationals that conduct commercial activities in the Philippines are required to secure a work visa or permit.

As of Friday, the composite team was able to board and inspect three vessels namely MV Mao Hua with 14 Chinese nationals and eight Filipino crew; MV Liang Long with 17 Chinese nationals and two Filipino crew and MV Jun Hai with five Filipinos and 28 Chinese crew.

“We will be submitting a comprehensive report of our findings to the Secretary of Justice and will be penalizing any foreign national found to be working without proper documentation,” he said.

The BI chief assured that the inspections will continue in the next few days to ensure full compliance with immigration laws.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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