THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) denied the request of Australian missionary Sister Patricia Fox to extend her missionary.
In a two-page order signed Thursday, Fox’s request for extension, which was petitioned by the Superior of the Religieuse De Notre Dame De Sion, Inc., was denied by the BI citing the deportation order which was previously issued against her and saying that the bureau has already seen that Sister Fox violated the conditions of her stay and is considered undesirable, hence a deportation order was previously issued against her.
The BI also said that according to its legal team, approving the extension of her missionary visa will be inconsistent with the findings cited in her deportation order.
It added that Fox had already spent 27 years in the country as a missionary when ordinarily, following the Memorandum of Agreement between the BI and the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines, foreign missionaries stay in the country for only ten years.
As such, she is required to apply for the downgrading of her visa within fifteen days from receipt of the denial order and downgrading will revert her status to a temporary visitor’s visa, with a 59-day validity, starting from the date of the expiry of her missionary visa.
It can be recalled that Fox has a pending appeal to the Department of Justice (DOJ) on her deportation and the BI said it still needs to wait for the decision before acting on the deportation, athough it clarified that it may grant her Temporary Visitor’s Visa upon downgrading, without prejudice to the resolution of her appeal to the DOJ on her deportation.
Meanwhile, BI deputy commissioner and Port Operations Division Chief Marc Red Mariñas likewise instructed all BI-NAIA Terminal heads to closely monitor personnel complement.
He also instructed its personnel assigned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and other airports affected by Typhoon Ompong to be ready to render extended working hours to ensure that its services to the traveling public are not disrupted.
The BI said it expects a sudden influx of travelers after ‘Ompong’ leaves the Philippines. He stressed that the services of BI airport personnel are most needed after the typhoon as more passengers are expected at the airports once their flights have resumed.
“A lot of flights arriving and leaving the Philippines have been cancelled due to the bad weather,” said Morente. “We expect that the number of travelers will surge once normal flight operations resume,” Morente said.
He also advised immigration officers to bring toiletries and extra uniforms in anticipation of rendering extra hours of duty or being stranded due to heavy rains.