Drilon to DFA: Stop collecting allegiance fee

Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon (left) and Philippine Ambassador to the Kingdom of Spain, H.E. Philippe J. Lhuillier, graced the 2nd National Congress of Filipino Community Leaders in Spain and Andora last October 29, 2017.

SENATE Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon said the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) should stop collecting allegiance fee from Filipinos who want to re-acquire their Philippine citizenship.

Drilon made the call during his meeting with the Filipino community in Spain last October 29, 2017 regarding the Dual Citizenship Law, which he authored in 2003.

“The DFA should immediately stop the collection of the allegiance fee from Filipinos in various parts of the worlds, who are applying to re-acquire their Philippine citizenship under the Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003 (Republic Act 9225),” Drilon said. “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.”

“The DFA is not an income-generating institution. It exists for the service of Filipino citizens abroad,” Drilon said.

Filipino communities in Spain and Andorra raised the issue on the collection of the allegiance fee amounting to around 45 euros before they could take their Oath of Allegiance to the Philippines, according to Drilon.

Drilon said “bureaucratic requirements have discouraged a greater number of Filipinos from availing of the benefits under the law.”

Under RA 9225, Drilon explained, natural-born Filipinos who lost their Filipino citizenship through naturalization in a foreign country may re-acquire Philippine citizenship by taking the Philippine Oath of Allegiance before a duly authorized Philippine official.

The oath does not require a person to renounce his allegiance to any other country, Drilon said.

In 2016, Drilon filed Senate Bill No. 19, which seeks to amend the Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003 in order to simplify the manner by which Philippine citizenship is retained or reacquired.