Philippine Citizenship

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Who are Philippine citizens under the present Constitution?

The 1987 Constitution, Article IV, Section 1 provides:

    Section 1. The following are citizens of the Philippines:

Those who are citizens of the Philippines at the time of the adoption of this Constitution;
Those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines;
Those born before January 17, 1973, of Filipino mothers, who elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority; and
Those who are naturalized in accordance of law.


Who is a natural-born Filipino citizen?

Natural-born citizens are those who are citizens from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship. Those who elect Philippine citizenship in accordance with the Constitution shall be deemed natural-born citizens.


What are the modes of acquiring citizenship?

There are two (2) generally recognized modes of acquiring Philippine citizenship, namely:

1)  by birth; and

   a) Jus soli (right of soil) which is the legal principle that a person's nationality at birth is determined by the place of birth (ie, the territory of a given state).

   b) Jus sanguinis (right of blood) which is the legal principle that, at birth, an individual acquires the nationality of his/her natural parent/s. The Philippines adheres to this principle.

2)   by naturalization which is the judicial act of adopting a foreigner and clothing     him with the privileges of a native-born citizen. It implies the renunciation of a former nationality and the fact of entrance into a similar relation towards a new body politic. (2 Am.Jur.561, par.188)


What are the bases of acquiring citizenship?
There are 3 bases for acquiring citizenship by birth, namely:
   
1) Jus soli (right of soil) which is the legal principle that a person's nationality at birth is determined by the place of birth (ie, the territory of a given state).

2) Jus sanguinis (right of blood) which is the legal principle that, at birth, an individual acquires the nationality of his/her natural parent/s. The Philippines adheres to this principle;

3)   Naturalization which is the judicial act of adopting a foreigner and clothing     him with the privileges of a native-born citizen. It implies the renunciation of a former nationality and the fact of entrance into a similar relation towards a new body politic. (2 Am.Jur.561, par.188)


Who may qualify as Philippine citizen by naturalization under the Revised Naturalization Act?

Under Section 2 of the Revised Naturalization Law the applicant must possess the following qualifications:

    * He must not be less than twenty-one years of age on the day of the hearing of the petition;
    * He must have resided in the Philippines for a continuous period of not less than ten years;
    * He must be of  good moral character and believes in the principles underlying the Philippine Constitution, and must have conducted himself in a proper and irreproachable manner during the entire period of his residence in the Philippines in his relation with the constituted government as well as with the community in which he is living;
    * He must own real estate in the Philippines worth not less than five thousand pesos, Philippine currency, or must have some known lucrative trade, profession, or lawful occupation;
    * He must be able to speak or write English or Spanish or anyone of the principal languages;
    * He must have enrolled his minor children of school age in any of the public or private schools recognized by the Bureau of Public Schools of the Philippines where Philippine history, government and civics are taught  or prescribed as part of the school curriculum, during the entire period of the residence in the Philippines required of him prior to the hearing of the petition  for naturalization as Philippine citizen;


Who are not qualified to apply for naturalization of the Revised Naturalization Law?

Under Section of 4 of the Revised Naturalization Law, the following persons cannot qualify for Philippine citizenship:

    * Persons opposed to organized government or affiliated with any association or group of persons who uphold and teach doctrines opposing all organized governments;
    * Persons defending or teaching the necessity or propriety of violence, personal assault, or assassination for the success and predominance of their ideas;
    * Polygamists or believers in the practice of polygamy;
    * Persons  convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude;
    * Persons suffering from mental alienation or incurable contagious diseases;
    * Persons who during the period of their stay in the Philippines, have not mingled socially with the Filipinos, or who have not evinced a sincere desire to learn and embrace the customs, traditions, and ideals of the Filipinos;
    * Citizens or subjects of nations with whom the Philippines is at war
    * Citizens or subjects of a foreign country other than the United States, whose laws do not grant Filipinos the right to become naturalized citizens or subject thereof;


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