DFA denies collecting 'allegiance fee' for citizenship reacquisition

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

November 3, 2017, 6:44 pm

MANILA-- The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Friday denied collecting an "allegiance fee" amounting to 45 euros for Philippine citizenship reacquisition, saying it refers to a "one-time fee" for the application processing.

In a text message, DFA Acting Spokesperson Robespierre Bolivar said "the amount of €45, which is equivalent to USD 50, does not correspond to an 'allegiance fee' for applicants who are applying for the retention or re-acquisition of their Philippine citizenship."

"(It) instead refers to the 'one-time fee for the processing of the application and issuance of the corresponding Identification Certificate' of the applicants," he added.

On Nov. 2, Senator Franklin Drilon called on the agency to stop collecting "allegiance fee," after meeting with the Filipino community in Spain last Oct. 29, 2017 regarding the Dual Citizenship Law, which he authored in 2003.

He said that the Filipino community in Spain and Andorra raised the issue involving the collection of the allegiance fee before they could take their Oath of Allegiance to the Philippines.

“The DFA is not an income-generating institution. It exists for the service of Filipino citizens abroad,” Drilon has said.

“The DFA should immediately stop the collection of the allegiance fee from Filipinos in various parts of the worlds, who are applying to re-acquire their Philippine citizenship under the Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003 (Republic Act 9225),” he added.

Under RA 9225, Drilon explained, natural-born Filipinos who lost their Filipino citizenship through naturalization in a foreign country may re-acquire Philippine citizenship by taking the Philippine Oath of Allegiance before a duly authorized Philippine official.

In a statement, DFA said "the collection of the USD 50 from applicants for 'dual citizenship' is authorized under Memorandum Circular No. MCL-‎08-006 2008 and Circular No. AFF-04-01 promulgated by the Bureau of Immigration in order to implement the provisions of Republic Act No. 9225 or the Citizenship Retention and Re-Acquisition Act of 2003 and Administrative Order No. 091 designating the Bureau of Immigration as the implementing agency of Republic Act No. 9225." (PNA)