Malacanang on Tuesday announced that President Rodrigo Duterte approved the use of express lane fees and charges collected by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) for the salaries of its workers as he did for the last fiscal year.
In the memorandum order released on 1 October which was signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea “by authority of the President” on 27 September, it adopts Memorandum Order No 24, which allowed the use of the fees to increase BI workers’ salaries, as guidelines for a special provision in the 2019 General Appropriations Act on the use of such fees.
To recall, the same memorandum order had been used in 2018 to augment BI personnel’s salaries for that fiscal year.
Malacanang said that the President has recognized the “indispensability” of BI personnel and the “apparent disparity between the basic pay of BI employees and those of agencies performing comparable functions” and as such, he approved such use of the express lane fees.
The Palace added that the order is also meant to promote “continuous and unhampered delivery of basic government services” and also reiterated that such approval of the use of express lane fees is only an interim measure for a problem that only a law can fix.
The new memorandum order is effective from 1 January to 31 December of this year or until the passage of an immigration modernization law.