House OKs bills granting Filipino citizenship to Kouame, Marañon

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 16) — The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved on third and final reading measures seeking to grant Filipino citizenship to foreign-born athletes Bienvenido Marañon and Angelo Kouame.

If passed into law, House Bill No. 8631 would grant Spanish striker Marañon the chance to compete for the Philippine Azkals, the country's national football team.

Marañon moved to the Philippines in 2015 and played for the Ceres Negros and United City football clubs. He was also a four-time Philippine Football League champion.

Meanwhile, House Bill No. 8632 would also grant Ivorian-born Kouame a chance to represent the country in the international stage if signed into law.

Kouame is a two-time UAAP men's basketball champion with the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles. In 2018, he was also the first foreign student-athlete to win the UAAP Rookie of the Year award.

Similar bills were also filed in the Senate but remain pending at the committee level.