MANILA – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Friday reiterated that the Philippine ePassport system remains secure and that consular officers are vigilant over attempts by non-Filipinos to obtain a Philippine passport.
“The DFA takes the protection of the integrity of the Philippine passport very seriously and it works with the Bureau of Immigration (BI) in ensuring only individuals using authentic passports are allowed entry and exit from the country,” the department said in a statement.
The clarification came following reports that Chinese citizens have been using Philippine passports and birth certificates to enter the country.
Existing protocols ensure that government agencies that detect any foreign national holding a Philippine passport are to immediately confiscate it and coordinate with the DFA on the matter.
“As of the moment, the DFA has yet to receive any official report from the BI regarding claims that the latter has encountered Chinese nationals using authentic Philippine passports,” it added.
The DFA has investigated all cases of foreign nationals attempting to obtain Philippine passports using authentic breeder documents, in cooperation with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
Meanwhile, it reconstituted the Inter-Agency Committee Against Passport Irregularities (ICPI), which includes the Department of Justice, Department of the Interior and Local Government, BI, NBI, and Philippine National Police to further strengthen its campaign against fraudulent passports.
“The department wishes to reiterate that the Philippine ePassport system remains secure and its front-line consular personnel are vigilant when it comes to detecting attempts by non-Filipinos to obtain a Philippine passport,” it said. (PNA)