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‘Fake’ CFO certificates alarm BI

June 19, 2023 Jun I. Legaspi 321 views

THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) expressed its concern about the proliferation of “fake” Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) certificates.

BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco shared that BI officers have encountered several fake CFO Guidance and Counseling Program (GCP) certificates presented during immigration inspection.

The GCP is a required pre-departure seminar conducted by the CFO to equip Filipinos in intermarriages and bi-national relationships with adequate information on cultural and social realities overseas.

The certificates purport to show that holders have attended the GCP and, therefore, can leave for abroad.

Tansingco shared that last June 16, officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 intercepted a female victim bound for Pudong in China after presenting an alleged fake CFO GCP certificate.

The victim, 29 years old, was traveling with her alleged Chinese husband.

Verification with the CFO revealed that the certificate presented was not authentic.

In May, the BI issued a warning against fake CFO certificates after immigration officers intercepted two victims on separate occasions.

“We believe that this is an emerging trafficking trend, victimizing Filipinas to possibly work in scam call centers, as mail order brides, or as illegal surrogates,” said Tansingco. “Hence we are issuing a warning against Filipinos against this scheme,” he added.

Tansingco shared that those intercepted would report acquiring their certificate through the facilitation of a “fixer” they met online.

“With the creation of the shared information system between the BI and the CFO, schemes like this will not be able to pass,” warned Tansingco.