The Commission on Audit (COA) has directed the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to collect more than P249.950 million in administrative fines from airline companies that have allowed illegal aliens to enter the country.
This huge amount stems from uncollected penalties since 2001. This clearly violates the articles of the 1940 Philippine Immigration Law.
The COA report said the BI should immediately and properly address the questions raised by its clientele on the legality of the increase in fines from P500 to P50,000 and strengthen its internal control in the collection of fines.
State auditors said the agency is authorized by law to collect or impose administrative fines on airliners and shipping companies for bringing to the Philippines passengers not properly documented.
“If any vessel or aircraft or aircraft arriving at a port in the Philippines from a place outside thereof brings on board any alien bound for the Philippines who is not properly documented as required by this Act, the pilot, master, agent, owner, or consignee of the vessel or aircraft shall be subject to a fine of P500 in the case of each person brought,” the Philippine Immigration Law reads.
State auditors however bared that “uncollected receivables from administrative fines had tremendously accumulated” considering that as of Dec. 31, 2015, uncollected receivables from airlines have reached P249,950,000. Philippine government was deprived of income because the law is not strictly implemented.
Source: Michael Punongbayan, http://www.philstar.com