Senator seeks probe into proliferation of fake birth certificates


Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has called for an investigation into the proliferation of fake birth certificates which allow unscrupulous individuals to evade immigration laws and perpetrate crimes.


Gatchalian made the call noting how many persons, including foreign nationals secure government-issued identification to circumvent government processes and conduct illegal activities in the country.


“Syndicates may be behind the proliferation of fake birth certificates as well as the apparent abuse of the late birth registration system,” Gatchalian said, as he filed Senate Resolution No. 1053.


Gatchalian made the resolution after discovering discrepancies in the birth certificate of Bamban Mayor Alice Guo, who has been linked to the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) that authorities raided due to allegations of human trafficking, and other crimes.


The senator specifically cited the absence of government records proving the existence of one Amelia Leal, the named mother in Guo’s birth certificate. The Senate women and children’s panel, which is investigating the Guo’s links with POGO companies, have found that Amelia Leal does not have any birth or marriage certificate.


 Gatchalian also noted that 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, which some foreign nationals use to secure government identification and evade the country’s immigration laws.


During the Senate deliberations on the 2024 national budget, the PSA disclosed that at least 308 fake birth certificates were used for Philippine passport applications from January to September last year.


The senator noted six (6) 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.


On its part, the DFA is able to prevent over a hundred attempts of foreigners in applying for Philippine passports using spurious documents, with over 55 active cases referred to law enforcement agencies.


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