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Senators to consult CSC on hiring teachers with dual citizenship

MANILA: A Senate panel will consult the Civil Service Commission (CSC) regarding a memorandum circular it issued in 2016 that a person with dual citizenship would not be appointed in government unless the foreign citizenship is renounced.

This, after Commission on Higher Education chairperson J. Prospero de Vera III brought up the matter during the resumption of the discussions on Resolution of Both Houses No. 6 (RBH 6) on Tuesday, saying the policy also applies to professors seeking postings in state universities and colleges (SUCs).

“I’d like to inform the committee that even if you teach in a state university or college, dual citizenship is not allowed. The Civil Service [Commission] requires you that you have to give up your citizenship to be able to teach and to be appointed in a state university or college,” de Vera said.

Senator Sonny Angara, who presided over the hearing, said the panel should consult the CSC on the policy as it may affect the push to liberalize higher education.

“I understand the
spirit of this law but maybe medyo baka ma-hold tayo dito sa ganitong klaseng pag-iisip (we can be held up in this kind of mentality),” Angara said.

“I think the spirit is to ensure allegiance only to one country but that kind of thinking is I think a product of a different world, a world where nationality is very important,” he added.

The current setting, Angara said, finds more benefit from migration, citing renowned scientist Albert Einstein who migrated to the United States.

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III said that under the Philippine Constitution, a Filipino, even with a dual citizenship, is still a Filipino.

“Meron pa tayong Balik (Returning)-Scientist Program na most likely kunwari naka-10 to 20 years na sa ibang bansa yun, baka dual citizen na. Bumalik siya dito tapos ano? Di siya pwedeng magturo (We have the Balik-Scientist Program that most likely, for example, the Filipino has been abroad 10 to 20 years and maybe has a dual citizen. That Filipino comes back home and would not be
allowed to teach)?” Pimentel said.

After issuing Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 23 in 2016, the CSC issued MC 8 the following year clarifying that the previous MC covers only “natural-born Filipino citizens who were naturalized in another country, and later on reacquired their Filipino citizenship.”

“Therefore, Filipino citizens whose foreign citizenship was acquired by birth is not covered by CSC MC 23, s. 2016,” the memo stated.

Source: Philippines News Agency