How to Conduct Philippines Background Checks

Posted: January 05, 2021

Conducting background checks In the Philippines is a widely accepted practice, especially since many of the country’s largest employers include outsourcing firms, technology companies, banking institutions, financial services firms, insurance companies, and healthcare and pharmacy companies. These companies operate in industries that are highly vulnerable to legal and safety issues, so they routinely conduct background checks on all candidates and employees.

Here are a couple considerations to take into account while conducting background checks in the Philippines:

  • Consent forms for background checks – While it is considered best practice to obtain a signed consent form prior to conducting a background check in the Philippines, this is not necessarily required for Criminal Background Checks.
  • Privacy laws pertaining to Philippines background checks – Privacy laws in the Philippines are heavily influenced by international standards and center around the Philippines Data Privacy Act, which was signed into law in 2012. The Act was enacted to protect personal data privacy and provide guidelines for the preservation of personal data collected by public and private entities. The Data Privacy Act puts regulations on the processing of the personal information of Philippine residents and those currently residing in the Philippines. Additionally, it requires that personal information collected by organizations and individuals must be protected and fair practices must be established with regard to the notification, consent, access and correction of personal data. The National Privacy Commission was created to implement the law, investigate complaints and monitor compliance.
  • Name challenges – Names in the Philippines may create confusion when conducting background checks, especially when the surname is changed after marriage. To avoid confusion, it is necessary to obtain documents from job applicants to prove name changes. In addition to name changes, another common challenge with conducting background checks in the Philippines is that common names also make it difficult to match to a specific individual.
  • Bribery and fake documents – There is an issue with bribery in the Philippines with people providing fake documents, so it is necessary to be on the lookout for this when conducting background checks. In particular, it is necessary to be cautious of vendors that claim to access NBI records as a third party since this is usually accomplished through bribery arrangements.
  • Bankruptcy – An individual cannot file for bankruptcy in the Philippines. Instead, the subject must be cross-referenced via reverse directorship searches to find companies he/she is a stakeholder in.

Philippines Criminal Records Checks

The criminal records search in the Philippines is a nationwide search conducted through the Regional Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court, Municipal Trial Courts. Court records are open to the public, except those cases involving family disputes. In the Philippines, court cases are tried in either a Municipal, Metropolitan, or Regional Trial Court (the venue of a trial is based on geography and the classification of the case). The Philippine court system does not have a single updated database system – each of the Municipal, Metropolitan, and Regional Trial Courts maintain their own records, with a large proportion still paper-based. Records are maintained by the Office of the Clerk of Court of the Municipal, Metropolitan, or Regional Trial Courts, and are publicly available. A completely comprehensive check to determine criminal records will be to search each of the courts (numbering a few hundred) but this approach is expensive and time-consuming. History checks when checks are undertaken through courts or a private database, although process can vary between suppliers.

Philippines Police Certificate (NBI)

The Philippines Police Certificate (NBI), issued by the National Bureau of Investigation, is often referred to as an NBI certificate, NBI Check or NBI Clearance.To create these certificates,TheNational Bureau of Investigation collects records from courts in the Philippines, including locally based court records that are held with individual courts.

The certificates, which are not legally permitted to be obtained by third parties, can only be obtained by the individual securing the clearance. They are still very common for employment or Visa purposes. Since the NBI relies on individual courts to provide the records, the certificate may not be thorough, especially from remote areas where records are commonly still in paper documents.

In order to obtain a NBI certificate in the Philippines, an applicant must provide two valid ID cards, a completed fingerprint card form and a 2″X2″ photograph.

Private databases may be more thorough and accurate than a NBI Certificate, so they are gaining in popularity.

Many other background check packages are available in the Philippines:

  • Philippines Civil Records Search – This search is conducted at the local level through the court based on the jurisdiction of the city provided. Report may include case type, file date, case number, name of court where case was filed, plaintiff, defendant and disposition if a case can be located. Requirements: Name, date of birth, address (including city), release.
  • Education Degree Verification in the Philippines –Since applicants often inflate their educational accomplishments on their resumes and applications in the Philippines, it is necessary for companies to conduct thorough educational verifications to confirm the highest or highest two qualifications educational accomplishments. This is cone by contacting the educational institutions directly to verify degrees or certifications earned. Educational verifications include dates of attendance, graduation date and degree information. An Education Verification verifies the authenticity of Certificates, TORs (Transcript of Records) and Testimonials. It also checks if a Degree is accredited versus from a diploma mill. Through Registries, clearing houses, issuing authority (i.e., Branch of an international institution). Requirements: Name, date of birth, school name, degree, major, dates of attendance, city of school, copy of degree and release form.
  • Employment Verification in the Philippines – Past employment verification is recommended for all employers in the Philippines, since approximately 40% of all resumes and employment applications contain falsified information. A standard employment verification in the Philippines reports the employer’s name, applicant’s title, dates of employment, whether they are eligible for rehire, etc. Requirements: Name, date of birth, employer name and contact information, dates of employment, position held and release form.
  • Personal and Professional Reference Checks in the Philippines – Info Cubic’s experienced research staff completes personal and professional reference checks by interviewing an applicant’s former or current colleagues. Our researchers will provide a comprehensive overview of a person’s characteristics. Requirements: Applicant name and date of birth, reference’s relationship, contact name and contact information (including phone number and email address).
  • Global Monitor Check – The Global Monitor Check (GMC) is an international database product that searches a variety of databases.
  • ID Check in Philippines – An ID Check is available for background checks in the Philippines. Requirements: Name, DOB, Address, Consent Form, Identification Card Color Copy (Front and Back

For more information on conducting Philippines background checks, or for information on international background checks in general, please feel free to reach out to the Info Cubic team at (877) 360-4636.

It is important to note that the preceding is offered as general educational information and is not intended to constitute legal advice. Given the intricacies of the pertinent laws and regulations, consultation with qualified legal counsel is recommended.