|The Philippines plans to grant dual citizenship to an estimated 2.5 million naturalized Filipinos overseas by September in hopes of encouraging more investment, legislators said Tuesday.
The House of Representatives and Senate have passed two bills, one allowing Filipinos to retain their citizenship and the other allowing them to reacquire it if they had to give it up to become citizens of another country.
Senate President Franklin Drilon, sponsor of the Dual Citizenship Act under the slogan "Once a Filipino, always a Filipino," said the chambers will ratify one bill for President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to sign into law in September.
After it becomes law, dual citizenship will benefit foreign-naturalized Filipinos with the right to work, invest, acquire property, vote, run for office or seek diplomatic protection in the Philippines.
By extending citizenship rights to Filipinos abroad, Congress hopes to "tap foreign-based capital," said Congressman Jose Lozada, author of the House bill.
Lozada said House representatives want Filipinos to keep their citizenship once they become foreign nationals because they want to make it difficult for those who have renounced it to claim it back.
There are 1.9 million naturalized Filipinos in the United States, but that country does not recognize dual citizenship with the Philippines.