Sep 052014

MANILA, Philippines—Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Friday ordered Immigration authorities to prepare for a more challenging 2015 with several international events expected to make the bureau’s work “more crucial as well as more difficult.”

Two important events—the Pope’s visit in January and the hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in November—are expected to boost the country’s profile on the international stage.

“Not to mention other cultural and sports events that are part and parcel of the declaration by the Department of Tourism that 2015 shall be Visit the Philippines Year,” De Lima said in her speech during the Bureau of Immigration’s 74th anniversary celebration.

“With the proliferation of cross-border or transnational crimes, and the tireless efforts of criminal elements to evade our powers of detection, investigation and prosecution of crimes, we can only imagine that the work of the Bureau of Immigration will only become more crucial, more difficult,” she added. Tina G. Santos

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