Travel Clearance

Summer vacation is just around the corner. To kids, it’s the next best thing to Christmas because it means time off from school and home works. They can sleep in until mid-day, spend more time with friends, and of course, go on vacation with the family.

Taking the kids on an out-of-town trip is always exciting. Whether you’re going to visit Lolo and Lola in the province or are flying out to a nearby country to experience a different culture and see famous tourist spots, a family trip is the highlight of every kid’s summer vacation.

But what if taking your child on an out-of-the-country trip requires more than just a passport and plane tickets? Did you know that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) requires certain documents in case children are going on an international flight with people other than his parents or legal guardians? Read more about these important travel documents required by the government for the protection of our children.

The DSWD Travel Clearance – Who Needs This and Why?

The DSWD requires a Travel Clearance for children (of minor age) who will be traveling out of the country on their own or with people other than his/her parents or legal guardians. This is the government’s straightforward means of protecting children from the possibilities of human trafficking.

The DSWD Travel Clearance vs. Parental Travel Permit

The Parental Travel Permit is issued by the DSWD to minors traveling abroad accompanied by only one parent or persons exercising parental authority. The parent who will not be going on the trip (for various reasons) must execute a duly notarized Parental Travel Permit as proof that he or she has given her consent for her spouse (father or mother of the child) to take their child on a trip outside the country. This too is in relation with the government’s efforts to discourage human trafficking as stipulated in Republic Act 7610 (also known as Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act).

The DSWD Travel Clearance is needed in cases when the minor child is traveling on his own or with people other than his parents or legal guardians. This is the case when kids are sent abroad by the school for competitions, workshops, further research, projects, and field trips. In such instances, the child is accompanied only by a teacher or a coach; a Travel Clearance is then needed.

But what if the child is an illegitimate minor and will be traveling only with his or her biological father?

By virtue of Article 176 of the Family Code of the Philippines, the law that gave mothers the parental authority over illegitimate children, a Parental Travel Permit needs to be executed (by the biological mother) in order for a biological father to take his minor child out of the country.

What if the minor child is adopted and will be traveling alone with his or her adoptive father or mother?

The same rule applies except that the parents need to submit the adoption papers to prove that said parents are recognized by the state as the adoptive parents of the child.

What are the requirements that parents need to prepare when their child is traveling abroad?

  1. Travel Clearance (when applicable);
  2. PSA Birth Certificate on Security Paper (SECPA) of the minor;
  3. PSA Marriage Certificate of minor’s parents (if married);
  4. Notarized Affidavit of Consent from parents/guardians authorizing a particular person to accompany the child in his/her travel abroad;
  5. Notarized Affidavit of Support of sponsor indicating employment and salary certified by the employer, if appropriate;
  6. Latest Income Tax Return of sponsoring person and/or parents with official confirmation receipts;
  7. Two passport size pictures of minor;
  8. Photocopy of passport and visa of traveling companion of the minor.

Tomorrow we will post an article on a case where the biological father wants to take his child (who is illegitimate) on a trip to Disneyland; however, he does not have any information on the mother’s whereabouts.

Will the child ever be able to travel with his father? Are there any exemptions to Article 176 of the Family Code when it is the father who raised the illegitimate child and the mother is nowhere to be found?

Let’s find out tomorrow.