Probe SWP scam, PNP told

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Three ranking officials of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) removed from their posts over irregularities in the issuance of special working permits (SWP) to aliens will be investigated by the police.

Axed BI officials tagged in alien workers invading Philippines

According to the office of BI Commissioner Jaime Morente, it has requested the Philippine National Police (PNP) Counter-Intelligence Task Force (CITF) to conduct the probe since one of the three is still an active PNP official.

Morente’s office identified the three officials to be investigated as police colonel Atty. Alex Recinto, Atty. Arnulfo Maminta and Justine Glavez. Recinto has since been returned to PNP service.

BI officials and personnel are suspected of being behind the upsurge in the issuance of SWP in exchange for bribe money, including those who enter the country as tourists.

The suspected illegal foreign workers are mostly Chinese who take on jobs which Filipinos can fill in at construction projects, hotel and restaurant industry and business processes outsourcing (BPO) sector.

The BI had been empowered to issue SWP to foreign workers but only for short, contractual jobs whose local manpower sourcing cannot be filled up. The SWP can take the place of the Alien Employment Permit issued by the Department of Labor.

In 2018, 119,000 SWP were issued by BI offices, many under questionable circumstances that led to congressional investigations showing money changing hands between applicants and BI officials and personnel.

The declared number of SWP, however, is far less than the number of Chinese workers being seen all over the country, estimated to be at millions already.

A BI satellite office in Taguig had been identified by at least one lawmaker as being behind the dubious issuance of SWP in exchange for grease money.

Morente had ordered that no SWP will be processed by BI satellite offices.

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