Public office for dual citizens
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
Dual citizens in public office?
Why not? A bill has been filed in the House of Representatives that aims to allow Filipinos holding dual citizenship to be appointed or elected to public office. It was authored by Party-list representative who said this will harness the talents and experiences as human resource of Filipinos.
The government already has passed Republic Act 9225, the “Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003”. It was accepted with great gratitude by Filipinos who, even if they had already gained citizenship in other countries still retained their love and longing for their native land, where most of them had left kin and friends with whom they had kept in close contact, despite their adopted country.
Since the passage of the Act, thousands of Filipinos, especially those residing and working in the United States, have taken advantage of its provisions and have successfully acquired dual citizenship, which means they can continue being citizens of their homeland, while keeping their membership in their acquired one.
Also since then, many of these “repatriated” Pinoys have been coming back and have expressed concern for the land of their forefathers and have wondered how they can help it progress and develop further. Many of them have also acquired skills and experiences that could be put to good use if they were in an official position to do so.
Filipinos who have reacquired their citizenship are supposed to enjoy full civic, economic and political rights and are subject to all liabilities and responsibilities under existing laws of the Republic of the Philippines, as pointed out by the author of the bill.
The opportunity to serve their original country should, therefore, not be withheld from them – if they can prove themselves equal to the task through the process of election, or appointment, as the case may be.*