MANILA, Philippines — Senator Sonny Angara on Friday disclosed that more than 300 fake birth certificates linked to foreigners and Filipinos alike were used for Philippine passport applications in 2023.
Angara, sponsor of the 2024 budget of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), said there were actually over 20,000 requests sent for document validation.
“In fact, I am informed that between January and September this year, there were over 26,000 requests from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for validation of civil registry documents. As a result of that validation, 308 birth certificates were found to be fake,” said Angara during the Senate’s Friday deliberations on the national budget bill.
“That’s not limited to Filipinos, your honor, but both Filipinos and foreign nationals,” he clarified.
Angara made the clarification after he was asked by Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva to explain whether or not the documents allegedly used by some foreigners to obtain Philippine passports were legitimate or fake.
So fake pala ‘yung mga birth certificates na ipinakita, pero if I recall and I understand — there’s one that was authenticated by the PSA, authentic daw po, is that correct? Merong isa?,” Villanueva prodded.
(So the birth certificates that were shown are fake, but if I recall and I understand — there’s one that was authenticated by the PSA, it’s said to be authentic, is that correct? Is there one?)
Angara confirmed that there was one birth certificate found authentic, explaining that it was linked to a foreigner who supposedly used the name of a Filipina born in Sta. Cruz, Zambales.
Later in the hearing, Angara assured his fellow lawmakers that PSA will work to “strengthen its backchannel” to potentially apprehend these erring foreign nationals.
Several senators earlier expressed alarm over the alleged issuance of Philippine passports to Chinese nationals, calling it a national security issue.