Archive for September, 2019


9 Sept 30

My friend’s dog tore his brand new passport apart, three months before he was scheduled to leave for Singapore.  He cried like a little boy while collecting the scraps of paper that was once his primary travel document.

How do you get a replacement for your damaged passport?  Read this.

First off, we need to define what damaged passport means.  According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, your passport is considered damaged or mutilated when:

  • The data page or any information on it is torn or damaged to the point of unreadability.
  • A damaged passport microchip that is no longer machine-readable.
  • One or more pages have been torn out or missing.
  • Passport cover no longer attached to the booklet.
  • The booklet is unstitched, severely damaged by water, or with visa stamps that have bled out.
  • Passport picture is tampered and no longer clear/visible.

If your passport exhibits any of the above descriptions, you can consider it as damaged and therefore, needs to be replaced.  The DFA treats the replacement of damaged passports as new applications and so anyone seeking to have a damaged passport replaced must go through the same process as when you are applying for a new one.  Here’s how:

  1. The first thing you need to do is to get an appointment online and pay the corresponding passport fee to confirm your slot.
  2. Submit a notarized Affidavit of Explanation as to how, when, and where your passport was damaged or mutilated.
  3. Bring an original and photocopy of the first and last pages of the damaged passport.
  4. Prepare P350 as a penalty fee for the damaged passport.

You are also encouraged to bring an original copy of your PSA birth certificate especially if your personal details are hardly recognizable in the damaged passport.  You can get a copy online and have it delivered to your home at www.psahelpline.ph.

There shall be a 15-day clearing period within which your application will go through verification and your old passport records will be tracked and reviewed.

There you have it.  The process and requirements may be a bit different but rest assured that the DFA can have your damaged passport replaced.

Just the same, take care of your passport and other important IDs and documents.  Keep them in locked drawers or plastic containers to keep them safe from pets, pests, flood, and maybe even fire.  Always have duplicates available in your office as well so you would have a ready reference in case you lose the original ones.

Thanks for dropping by!

References:

www.dfa.gov.ph

www.passport.gov.ph

www.filipiknow.net

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9 Sept 23

The Department of Foreign Affairs applied some changes in the passport appointment system last year in order to make more room for more passport applicants.  Getting an appointment with the DFA has become so difficult for most Filipinos because the appointment slots get blocked off really fast.  It was found out that a significant number of people who reserved these slots never make good with their commitment, resulting to more and more people having to wait for a month or more just to get an appointment with the DFA.

Last year, the DFA tweaked the process a bit so that a passport applicant who reserves a slot online can confirm his appointment by paying his passport fee first.  In the past, you pay your passport fee after you have gone through the entire application or renewal process.  This was seen as one of the major reasons why appointment slots get booked right away and unused reservations remain blocked until the day of the person’s appointment (usually 30 to 60 days from the time it was reserved.). With the new process, an applicant is given only 48 hours, from the time he is generated a reference number, to confirm his appointment by paying his passport fee at any of the accredited payment partners of the DFA.  If he or she does not post any payment within the prescribed period, his appointment is canceled and is made free for others to reserve.

So how do you pay your passport fee so you don’t lose your reserved slot?  Read this:

  1. When you are done with the appointment setting process, click on the Proceed to Payment button on the screen.
  2. You will be taken to the newly launched Philippine passport ePayment portal, showing the total fee you need to pay and the authorized payment centers where you can make your payment.
  3. Click Proceed. You should receive an email with your reference number. Take note of this number or print it out and bring it with you when you make your payment at your chosen Payment Center.
  4. Below is a list of payment centers that you can choose from:
  • Bayad Center outlets
  • ECPay
  • PeraHub
  • Robinson’s Business Center and Department Stores
  • Waltermart Department Store
  • 7-11 Stores
  • USCC (Western Union)
  • Villarica Pawnshop
  • Other payment centers, as well as the credit/debit card payment facility, will be made available soon.

Other reminders when paying at Payment Centers:

  1. The paid passport fee is non-refundable. If you fail to make it to your appointment, you cannot re-schedule or demand a refund.
  2. The Payment Centers may charge you an additional P50 as a convenience fee.
  3. If you are paying for more than one passport appointment (ex: family appointment or group application), each person’s appointment will be assigned its own reference number. Payments for group applications will also be on a per reference number basis – you pay for each, not as a group.
  4. You may contact the ePayment Portal Help Desk at (02) 234-3488 or email them at info@passport.gov.ph

Keep your receipt after making the payment and make sure to bring it with you on your appointment and when you claim your passport.

References:

www.passport.gov.ph

www.dfa.gov.ph

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9 Sept 20

The answers are both yes and no.

The DFA recently announced that the PSA birth certificate is no longer a requirement when getting your passport renewed.  While this is true for passport renewal transactions, it does not apply to other cases of passport transactions with the DFA.

The PSA birth certificate remains to be a major requirement for all other passport transactions; below is the list of other transactions with the DFA this is still a requirement:

  1. First-time passport applications.
  2. When having a damaged or mutilated passport replaced.
  3. Applicants that are included in the DFA watchlist.
  4. Renewal of the brown and green old Philippine passports that has no complete middle name of the owner.
  5. Changes in personal information such as for married women or if changing from married name to maiden name.

Be properly guided, friends!

 

References:

www.dfa.gov.ph

www.passport.gov.ph

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9 Sept 18

Another common question we receive in our email, one that we asked ourselves many months back.  And the answer is, no.

Based on my observation, one of the main reasons why it has become so difficult to get an available passport appointment slot is because people do not take their reservations seriously.  They will reserve a slot and then will not show up for their appointment.  This practice actually results in a 2-month wait period for other passport applicants.

In June 2016, the DFA implemented the 30-day ban for passport applicants who do not show up on their appointment date. They are tagged by the system and are not able to reserve an appointment slot for 30 days after their original appointment date.

Just last year, the DFA also tweaked the passport application process so that applicants now have to pay the passport fee before they appear at the DFA for their interview.  The payment confirms their appointment and the DFA shall hold the date and time for the applicant, unless he or she requests to have it re-scheduled.

Re-scheduling can be accommodated only once and will depend on the availability of the appointment slot that the applicant wishes to take.  Also, a weekday appointment can only be re-scheduled to another weekday; you cannot take a weekend date if your original reservation was a weekday.

If you still fail to show up on the re-scheduled date, your passport fee will be forfeited and you will have to go through the reservation process again if you still wish to continue.

I personally think this is the best way that the DFA can be fair to everyone in terms of granting appointment slots to passport applicants.

Visit us again tomorrow for more helpful information about passport applications and renewals.

 

Reference:

www.dfa.gov.ph

www.passport.gov.ph

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9 Sept 17

We covered this topic last year but thought it would be good to write about it again since we receive a lot of questions about changing one’s name in his or her passport.

Married Filipinas are not mandated by law to use their husband’s last name – whether in their IDs, transactions and yes, even in their passports.  Women have the option to retain their maiden last name even after they are married.

If you are married and wish to use your husband’s last name in your passport, you need to present a copy of your PSA marriage certificate to the DFA when you renew your existing passport.

On the other hand, if you have been using your husband’s last name in your passport and have decided to switch back to your maiden name, you can only do so under two circumstances:

  1. If your marriage has been annulled or
  2. If you have been widowed.

In both cases, you need to present supporting documents to the DFA before you are issued a passport with your maiden last name in it.  If your marriage was annulled, you must present an annotated copy of your PSA marriage certificate, one that bears the court order or finality of the annulment.  If you are a widow, you need to present the PSA death certificate of your spouse.

So ladies, remember that once you decide to use your married name in your passport, you cannot simply go back to using your maiden last name anytime. So think about it before you change your last name in your IDs.

Reference:

www.psa.gov.ph

www.passport.gov.ph

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9 Sept 16

A confirmed appointment at the DFA means that particular date and time is reserved for you for your passport application or renewal.  Last year, there was a clamor for the DFA to systematize their online appointment process because applicants could not seem to get any available date (at any of the most accessible DFA offices) no matter how long they wait online.  Later on, DFA advised the public of the best times to get an appointment: 9AM and 12PM.  Apparently, these are the hours when the system refreshes and the available dates are updated.  Also, they required applicants to pay their passport fees first before their reserved slots are officially confirmed and blocked off.  No payment within a specified number of hours after reservation means that the time and date you reserved will be freed up for others.  Unlike before when applicants are only required to pay their passport fees after they have gone through the entire passport application or renewal process at the DFA.

But what if an applicant wishes to change his appointment date after he has confirmed (meaning, has already paid for his passport fees)?  Is there a way to accommodate this or are all confirmed appointments considered final?

Read on:

The passport appointment website, www.passport.gov.ph has a Reschedule button that allows applicants with confirmed appointments to change their appointment date and time.  So the answer to our questions is Yes.  However, you need to take note of the following when requesting your appointment to be rescheduled:

  1. Rescheduling is dependent on the availability of the appointment slots. This means that if your desired new date and time is no longer available, you cannot be accommodated. You may have to keep checking the site to see if your preferred time has been freed up.
  2. You can only reschedule once.
  3. You can only reschedule a weekday appointment to another weekday – not on a weekend.

Are you thinking of rescheduling your confirmed appointment with the DFA? Well, we hope this article helped.

Visit us again tomorrow for more information and helpful tips when getting a new or renewing a Philippine passport.

References:

http://www.passport.gov.ph

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9 Sept 13

As soon as your baby has a PSA birth certificate, you can already apply for his very own passport.  Today, we are going to help you with all the important information needed when getting a passport for babies and minors.

Read on.

A minor is defined as someone who is below 18 years old and those that are over 18 years old but are unable to fully take care of themselves because of physical or mental disability or condition.

The DFA identifies minors into two categories:

  • 0 to 7 years old are:
    • Babies
    • Kids aged seven years old and below
    • No need to secure an appointment online and are entitled to the courtesy lane with their parents and minor siblings.
  • 8 to 17 years old are:
    • Must secure an online appointment for passport applications and renewals.
    • They can access the courtesy lane if they have another sibling aged 7 years old and below who are also applying for or renewing his passport.

A minor child’s passport is only valid for 5 years, unlike that of the regular passport’s 10-year validity.

Steps in getting a Philippine Passport for babies and minors:

  1. Complete the requirements before going to your preferred DFA branch.
  • Confirmed online appointment (if applicable – 8 years old to 17 years old)
  • Duly accomplished passport application form.  You can download a copy of the form here.
  • Personal appearance of the minor child and either parent or authorized legal companion.
  • PSA birth certificate. (How to get PSA birth certificate.)
  • In case the child does not have a PSA birth certificate or a Report of Birth yet, you can submit the following:
    • PSA-authenticated Certified True Copy of LCR Birth Certificate
    • Original copy of Report of Birth or first endorsement from the Consular Records Division IF YOUR CHILD WAS BORN ABROAD ONLY.
  • PSA Marriage Certificate if only one parent will appear before the DFA.  If the parents are not married, an Affidavit of Support and/or Consent must be executed by the mother if she will not be present during the passport application.
  • Passport or any valid government-issued ID of the parent or authorized guardian that will accompany the child.
  • If the child is already attending school, present his valid school ID.
  1. Submit all the requirements to the DFA. Your child’s photo will be taken by a DFA representative during the application process.
  2. Pay the passport fee and make sure you are issued your receipt and a slip of paper with the date when you are to return to the DFA to claim the passport. Keep your receipt as this will serve as your claim stub.
  Regular Express
Aseana and Consular Offices (within Metro Manila) Php 950 (12 working days) Php 1200 (6 working days)
Consular Offices (outside Metro Manila) Php 950 (12 working days) Php 1200 (7 working days)
  1. Claim the child’s passport.

The DFA will keep the passport for 6 months; after which, they shall discard the passport and you will have to go through the process again if you wish to get another one.

 

References:

www.passport.gov.ph

www.filipiknow.net

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9 Sept 12a

Is this your first time to apply for a Philippine passport?  Not sure what documents and IDs to bring?  No idea how to set an online appointment?

We’re here to help!

Read on for the complete guide to applying for your very first passport at the DFA.

Requirements:

  1. You must have a confirmed online appointment with the DFA.
  • Logon to passport.gov.ph and click on the Schedule An Appointment link. Follow the instructions and step-by-step guide.
  • Pay your passport processing fee at any accredited DFA ePayment portal (the list will also be shown on the website and will be sent to your email.).
  • If you are a senior citizen, PWD, pregnant, a minor child, or a Solo Parent ID holder, you are exempted from making an online appointment and can proceed directly to the DFA office of your choice for a walk-in application.
  1. Printout of your passport appointment packet.
  • The link to the documents will be sent to you by the DFA to your email (the email address you provided during the online appointment).
  • Print the documents and bring these with you on the day of your appointment.
  1. Personal appearance at the DFA office of your choice.
  • You cannot send a representative to finish the application for you. If you fail to appear at the DFA on the date and time of your appointment, your application will be voided and you will not be able to apply for an online appointment for 30 days.
  1. Bring a valid ID (original and photocopy).
  • To be sure, bring more than one valid ID and reproduce each. Below is a list of acceptable IDs for passport application:
    • SSS ID
    • GSIS ID
    • UMID Card
    • PhlPost ID (postal ID)
    • COMELEC ID or Voter’s ID
    • Driver’s License
    • Senior Citizen ID
    • School ID (for students)
    • PRC ID
    • OWWA ID
    • PNP Firearms License
    • Airman License (issued August 2016 onwards)
  • The DFA DOES NOT accept PhilHealth ID and TIN ID.
  • NBI Clearance only serves as a supporting document.
  1. Bring an original copy of your PSA Birth Certificate.
  • It must be an original copy authenticated by the PSA and printed on SECPA.
  • You can order yours at psahelpline.ph
  • Alternatively, you can also present a Certified True Copy (CTC) of your birth certificate from the LCR of your birthplace.
  1. Married women must bring a copy of her PSA Marriage Certificate.
  • If you were married abroad, bring a copy of your Report of Marriage, authenticated by the PSA.
  • For women married to a foreign national, bring the original and photocopy of the Commission of Filipino Overseas (CFO) Guidance and Counseling Certificate of Attendance.

I hope this article helped you in preparing for your passport application.  Tomorrow, we are going to feature the passport requirements for minor children who are applying for a passport for the first time.

Visit us again!

Need quick facts about passport applications, requirements, and fees? Read this blog: QUICK FACTS FOR PASSPORT APPLICANTS AT THE DFA.

Source: www.dfa.gov.ph

www.passport.gov.ph

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9 Sept 12

Now here is a valid question that newly-annulled parents often ask us.  So we endeavored to gather the facts to try and answer this rather sad question (one of the saddest, if not the saddest). Our research led us to www.smartparenting.com.ph where the same question was raised and the answer was provided by one Atty. Nikki Jimeno.  We just wish to acknowledge and give them credit for the insightful article they published on their website.

Read on:

If the annulled couple’s marriage was proven to be void from the beginning, then their children are generally considered illegitimate.  What this actually means is that in the annulment process, it was proven that the marriage that the ex-couple had was essentially fake – and it is as if they were never married at all.  Therefore, their children are essentially born out of wedlock – illegitimate.

According to the Family Code of the Philippines, the following marriages are considered void from the beginning:

  • Contracted by any party below 18 even with the consent of parents or guardians;
  • solemnized by any person not legally authorized to perform a marriage unless either or both parties believed in good faith that the solemnizing officer had the legal authority to do so;
  • solemnized without a marriage license except those expressly exempted by law to secure a marriage license;
  • bigamous or polygamous marriages;
  • contracted through mistake of one of the contracting parties as to the identity of the other;
  • incestuous marriages as defined in Article 37 of the FC; and
  • void marriages by reason of public policy (i.e. between step-parents and step-children, between adopting parent and adopted child).

If, however, the marriage was valid but was later declared void due to the psychological incapacity of one or both of the spouses under Article 36 of the Family Code, the children are still considered legitimate.  This is because their parents’ marriage was legitimate, duly registered and acknowledged by the state and did not violate any provision in the Family Code.

Does my child need to drop his father’s last name after my annulment?

If you want your son to continue using his father’s last name, that is alright and permitted by law.  Illegitimate children are permitted to use their father’s last name as long as the biological father acknowledged his paternity over the child.  Only his birthright was affected by the annulment.

 

I want my child to be a legitimate child.

An unwed mother can adopt her own child and make his status legitimate, according to RA 8552 of the Domestic Adoption Act of 1998.  You need to seek the father’s consent and he must be willing to lose his parental authority over the child.  Essentially, your child will have to drop his biological father’s last name and use your maiden last name instead.

 

Source: www.smartparenting.com.ph

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9 Sept 11

I honestly do not know why this happens but it does.  It has happened to some people I know and to a lot of our dear blog and FB followers – they request for a copy of their child’s PSA birth certificate and are surprised to find out that the child’s name or last name are missing!

What do you do when this happens? Read on.

The answer to this type of error in your child’s birth certificate is what is commonly called: a Supplemental Report.

Evidently, the error is not typographical (unlike our topic yesterday) and so the petition for correction of clerical error does not apply to this particular problem.  Here’s how you can file for a Supplemental Report (take note that this approach applies to LEGITIMATE CHILDREN’s birth certificate only):

  1. Submit a copy of the child’s PSA birth certificate with the missing name details to the Local Civil Registry office where the child’s birth was registered.
  2. Include copies of the child’s other identification documents such as school IDs, baptismal certificate, photos, etc.
  3. The LCR will forward a petition to the PSA for review and approval. Meanwhile, the parents shall publish a notice of the case in newspapers and run this for two weeks.
  4. The parents may also be required to file an affidavit explaining the reason for the missing entries.
  5. Once the petition is approved by the PSA, the child’s birth certificate shall be duly annotated with the correct first, middle, or last name and the parents can request for the first corrected copy of the birth certificate at the PSA main office.
  6. This type of correction takes about three to four months to complete.

Again, after you have requested for the first corrected copy from the PSA, you may simply order the succeeding copies of your child’s PSA birth certificates online at www.psahelpline.ph.  This is the more convenient alternative to traveling all the way to PSA offices and waiting in line to get your documents.  PSAHelpline.ph processes your orders and delivers your PSA documents right at your doorstep.

Tomorrow’s topic should be more exciting (and a bit different from birth certificate corrections): does your child become illegitimate after an annulment?

We have a summary of solutions to the most common PSA birth certificate problems!  Read our blog, Common PSA Birth Certificate Problems (and their solutions!).

Visit us again tomorrow!

 

Reference: www.psa.gov.ph

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