By Leonel Abasola

PNA File photo

MANILA – Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has filed a resolution seeking to investigate the proliferation of fake birth certificates being used by unscrupulous individuals, including foreign nationals, to secure government-issued identification, evade immigration laws, and perpetrate crimes.

“Syndicates may be behind the proliferation of fake birth certificates as well as the apparent abuse of the late birth registration system,” Gatchalian said in his Senate Resolution 1053.

In a news release on Thursday, Gatchalian said investigations conducted by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Bureau of Immigration (BI), and the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) have brought to light the alarming proliferation of fake or spurious birth certificates.

He also noted the discrepancies in the birth certificate of Bamban Mayor Alice Guo, citing specifically the absence of government records proving the existence of one Amelia Leal, the named mother in Guo’s birth certificate.

A Senate fact-finding investigation revealed that Amelia Leal does not have any birth or marriage certificate.

Guo is being linked to the operations of a POGO hub in Bamban, which was recently raided by the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) for violation of human trafficking laws and serious illegal detention.

During the PSA’s budget deliberation for 2024 budget, the agency disclosed that at least 308 fake birth certificates were used for Philippine passport applications from January to September in 2023.

Six of these birth certificates belonged to foreign nationals who were issued Philippine passports.

The PSA is currently investigating the ongoing proliferation of fake birth certificates, including around 300 incidents involving Filipinos and 65 cases involving foreigners.

The DFA, on the other hand, has prevented over a hundred attempts of foreigners to apply for Philippine passports using spurious documents, with over 55 active cases referred to law enforcement agencies.

According to the DFA, foreign nationals pose as Filipinos by presenting authentic and genuine PSA-issued birth certificates, along with valid government-issued ID.

“The BI, for its part, has expressed alarm over incidents involving overstaying foreigners who misrepresent themselves to secure Philippine documents and evade immigration inspection,” Gatchalian said. (PNA)