DFA verifying report Chinese national used PH passport

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) yesterday said it has yet to receive any official report from the Bureau of Immigration (BI) regarding claims that the latter has encountered Chinese nationals using authentic Philippine passports.

In a statement, the DFA said it takes the protection of the integrity of the Philippine passport very seriously and it works closely with the BI in ensuring that only individuals using authentic passports are allowed entry into and exit from the country.

Existing protocols ensure that the BI or other government agencies that detect any foreign national holding a Philippine passport are to immediately confiscate the passport and coordinate with the DFA on the matter, the statement said.

The DFA has promptly investigated all cases of foreign nationals attempting or obtaining Philippine passports using authentic breeder documents, in cooperation with the National Bureau of Investigation.

To further strengthen the campaign against fraudulent passports, the DFA has reconstituted the Inter-Agency Committee Against Passport Irregularities (ICPI), which includes the Department of Justice, Department of  the Interior and Local Government, the Bureau of Immigration, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the Philippine National Police, among others, in order to ensure and maintain the integrity and credibility of the PH passport.

“The department wishes to reiterate that the Philippine ePassport system remains secure and its frontline consular personnel are vigilant when it comes to detecting attempts by non-Filipinos to obtain a PH passport,” the statement added.