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Corrupt civil registrars behind foreigners’ birth certificates – NSC

THE National Security Council (NSC) said it has traced the irregular issuance of passports to foreigners to corrupt civil registrars who issued birth certificates to foreigners for a fee.

NSC assistant director general Jonathan Malaya said the NSC considers the issuance of these passports and government identification cards to foreigners, who are mostly Chinese, as a “national security threat.”

“If they are able to secure a birth certificate, they can also secure passports, they can also secure national IDs, so they are like regular Filipinos,” said Malaya in Filipino.

Malaya said the NSC, the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) are jointly looking into the issuance of passports to foreigners.

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri earlier called for an investigation on how Chinese, Koreans and Thais were able to secure Philippine passports and other government-issued IDs.

“Based on our initial investigation, it appears it’s at the level of local government units where corruption occurs. There are allegedly, based on intelligence reports, some local civil registrars assigned with the LGUs who are being paid (to issue birth certificates),” said Malaya.

On Wednesday, Senate Deputy Minority Leader Risa Hontiveros said she has received information that foreigners pay as much as P500,000 each to get a Philippine passport.

“These corrupt public officials issue fake birth certificates which are then sent to the Philippine Statistics Authority and once these are recorded by the PSA, they can apply for PSA-certified birth certificates which can then lead to a passport, which can then lead to many other documents like national ID,” Malaya said.

Malaya said their investigation has disclosed that most of the foreigners who secured passports and government IDs were Chinese nationals “who were not born in the Philippines and who have no parental or links to Filipinos and who are not entitled to Philippine documents.”

“We assure the Senate that the NSC, together with the National Bureau of Investigation, and the PSA, will not stop until this modus operandi is not stopped,” he said.

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said he has