A CONGRESSMAN on Tuesday filed a resolution seeking an investigation of the government’s issuance of special visas to foreigners and cases of delayed birth certificate registration amid Chinese-linked crimes in the country.

“Congress should look into these reports that the provision of retiree visas to foreigners, particularly to Chinese nationals, has been abused,” Party-list Rep. Erwin T. Tulfo told reporters in mixed English and Filipino after the filing.

“Based on figures provided by the Bureau of Immigration, out of the 78,000 [given retiree visas], 30,000 were Chinese,” he added.

Some of the Chinese nationals that were given retiree visas were aged 35 to 50 years and have yet to reach retirement age, he added.

Mr. Tulfo also raised concerns about some Chinese nationals being provided with an investor’s visa even if they are not investors.

“They did not invest millions here, but they have an investor’s visa,” he said. “Others are even working for POGOs (Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators) while having investor’s visas.”

Congressmen last week revived calls to ban POGOs amid the government’s string of raids on illegal gaming operators.

Mr. Tulfo said Speaker and Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez had asked him to launch an investigation of the matter as well as cases of late birth certificate registration.

The mayor of a municipality in Tarlac province would be invited to the probe, he said, citing her case as an example of how foreigners were being allowed to “participate in various social, economic and political activities… reserved only for Filipinos.”

The House of Representatives would also invite the Philippine Retirement Authority, Board of Investments and Philippine Statistics Authority to shed light on the number of foreigners given special visas and the incidence of late birth certificate registration.

“There are abuses in the giving of retiree visas, investor’s visa and late registration [of birth certificates],” Mr. Tulfo said.

Foreigners skirting Philippine immigration processes is one of the reasons crimes involving them have increased, according to the resolution. — Kenneth Christiane L. Basilio