Different people have different ways of viewing things.  What may look beautiful to one person may look misplaced to some; a worn out piece of item could either be thrown out or kept for its sentimental value.

This may be the reason some people find it strange when they are told that their legal documents, IDs, and other personal effects are no longer acceptable because of its work-out state.  Nababasa pa naman ang pangalan ko ah is a most common defense, and in that context, disagreements and misunderstanding arise.

Our passports are one of our most important identification; when traveling, it is THE most important document you must have in your possession.  It could get worn out over time, a loose page here, a minute tear there.  The problem is, what we may see as a nondescript stain in our passport may mean that it has been damaged and therefore, cannot be used by the owner and needs replacement.

So how do we know that the slight crumple and mindless ink mark left by the ground stewardess on our passport already rendered the document invalid?

Here are insights shared by the DFA on damaged passports and what can be done to resolve the issue:

a. Damaged passports would include the following:

  • A ripped cover
  • Detached pages
  • Gone through a washing machine or recovered from a flooded house
  • Bears bite marks (by your dog or cat)
  • Crumpled but without tears
  • Has obvious food or drink stains
  • Burnt edges

b. What to do if your passport has been damaged?

  • Submit a Notarized Affidavit of Mutilation
    • Include detailed explanation on when, where, and how the passport got mutilated or damaged
  • Original and photocopy of first and last pages of mutilated or damaged passport.

The DFA advised that there will be a 15-day clearing period before the processing of the application of replacement.  It is also strongly advised that Filipino passengers make sure their passports are in tiptop shape before booking a ticket.  There have been cases in the past when passengers were offloaded from their flight because their passports were found to be damaged or mutilated.





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