Thousands of former Filipinos reacquire Philippine citizenship

MANILA - A total of 116,059 former Filipinos have reacquired Philippine citizenship under the dual citizenship law, according to the Bureau of Immigration (BI).

In a statement, Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. said those who reacquired Filipino citizenship since the BI began implementing the law in April 2004 were 36,851 individuals who filed their petitions at the BI main office in Manila and 79,208 who applied at Philippine consulates abroad.

Under Republic Act No. 9225, also known as the Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003, natural-born Filipinos who became naturalized citizens of other countries may regain their original citizenship by taking the oath of allegiance.

David urged former Filipinos to avail themselves of the benefits of RA 9225 if they wanted to enjoy again the right to vote, run for public office, own real property or remain indefinitely in the Philippines.

The law, however, allows dual citizenship only if an applicant's new country allows it, David said.

"They can enter and exit the Philippines anytime or stay here for as long as they wish without the need to apply for an extension of stay," he said.

BI legal officer Maricel Salcedo Sulit, who heads the bureau's task force on RA 9225, said Americans topped the list of approved applicants, followed by Britons and Canadians.

To apply, an individual must submit all documentary requirements and pay a fee of P3,000 (S$90).