Granting citizenship to Hans-Peter Smit

An Act Granting Philippine Citizenship to Hans-Peter Smit
Sponsorship Speech
By Senator Pia S. Cayetano
May 30, 2016

Mr. President, esteemed colleagues,

I am pleased to rise before you today to sponsor Senate Bill No. 2711, granting Philippine citizenship to Hans-Peter Smit.

Mr. Smit, or Coach Hans, as he is commonly known, is an Indonesian citizen. He has been a resident of the Philippines for fifty-two (52) years now – a husband to a Filipino wife and father to four Filipino children. Coach Hans is an icon in Philippine football, having been deeply immersed in the local football scene for almost four (4) decades. He is part of the Philippine Football Federation, and a representative of the Philippines as a match commissioner for the Asian Football Confederation. Coach Hans is the only coach from the Philippines who has coached all the teams – men’s, women’s, boys’, girls’, and even the national football team.

One of his greatest contributions to Philippine football is starting a grassroots football program in La Salle Zobel in the early ‘80s. Through his program, he has coached youth from all over the country while they obtain an education from La Salle through their skill in football. He was also pivotal in starting girls’ football in the country, which gave girls the opportunity to play and excel in the sport. Coach Hans has mentored thousands of football players, instilling in them the discipline and passion of an athlete. Through his efforts over the past few decades, he has promoted football as a sport that Filipinos can excel and take pride in, even on the world stage.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has confirmed that according to their Master Name Index File System, a secure global network database, there is no derogatory record under Mr. Smit’s name. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has also stated that no criminal complaint or appealed petition for review has been filed against him. Likewise, both the Bureau of Immigration (BI) and the DOJ interpose no objections to the granting of citizenship to Mr. Smit.

Coach Hans, although an Indonesian national, grew up and made a life here in the Philippines. Not only that, he has made a meaningful impact in the lives of many Filipino youth, as well as significant contributions to Philippine football. Mr. President, dear colleagues, he has considered himself a Filipino by heart all these years, and with this bill, I humbly seek your support to grant Philippine citizenship to Mr. Hans-Peter Smit. Thank you. #

Photo: Senator Pia S. Cayetano sponsoring HB 5560 which seeks to grant Philippine citizenship to football coach Hans-Peter Smit (May 30, 2015)

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