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ePassport system ‘secure’ amid Chinese alleged use of PH passport – DFA

/ 08:22 PM March 06, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Amid reports of Chinese nationals using Philippine passports, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Friday assured the public that the country’s ePassport system is secured.

“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 foreign affairs department said in a statement.

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The foreign affairs department said they are working closely with the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to ensure that only holders of legitimate passports are entering and exiting 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,” DFA said.

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DFA made the remark following a Senate inquiry on Monday where Sen. Risa Hontiveros bared that travel agencies allegedly offer Philippine passports and birth certificates to Chinese nationals entering the country.

But DFA said it has yet to receive any report from the immigration bureau regarding Chinese nationals using authentic Philippine passports.

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

Further, DFA said it has also “reconstituted” the Inter-Agency Committee Against Passport Irregularities (ICPI).

The inter-agency, DFA said, include various government agencies such as the Department of Justice, Department of Interior and Local Government, the Bureau of Immigration, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the Philippine National Police, among others.

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