• A Filipino citizen is one born to a Filipino mother


    Dear PAO,
    Please enlighten me on citizenship. My father is a Taiwanese but his parents came from mainland China. My mother is a Filipina, whose parents were naturalized here in the Philippines. I was born here in the Philippines. Is it possible that I am a Chinese citizen? Am I a Filipino citizen? Do I need to do anything in order to be a Filipino citizen? I am 18 years old. Thank you!

    Dear Danny,
    As to your question on whether you are a Filipino citizen, you stated in your letter that you are 18 years old, which means you were born in 1994 or 1995, about eight years since the passage of the 1987 Philippine Constitution. Article IV, Section 1 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution states:

    “The following are citizens of the Philippines:

    (1) Those who are citizens of the Philippines at the time of the adoption of the Constitution;

    (2) Those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines;

    (3) Those born before January 17, 1973, of Filipino mothers, who elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority; and

    (4) Those who are naturalized in accordance with law.”

    Sec. 1(3) states that “those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines” are Filipino citizens. Since according to you your mother is a Filipina, this means that you are a Filipino by birth. The Constitutional provision requires that either your mother or your father is a citizen of the Philippines. As long as one of your parents is a Filipino citizen, then you are a natural-born Filipino. You do not need to do anything to be a Filipino citizen, since by being born to a Filipino mother, you are already a Filipino citizen.

    As to your question on whether you are a Taiwanese or Chinese citizen, unfortunately, we are not competent to advise you on the matter. Lawyers who passed the Philippine Bar are only competent to give legal advice on matters related to Philippine law. Since the Public Attorney’s Office is a law office composed of Filipino lawyers, we can only advise you on matters related to Philippine law. Since citizenship refers to one’s membership in a state or country, it is the laws of a state that determines one’s citizenship. If you would like to know whether you are a Taiwanese or Chinese citizen, please be advised that it is best to ask a lawyer in Taiwan or China on the matter or to refer to the laws of these states on citizenship.

    We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.