Category: DFA Passport and EPassport


Oct 1

The long wait is indeed, over!  Today, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announces the shortened releasing period for regular and express passport processing.  This is good news to Pinoy travelers who rely on the speed and efficiency of DFA to produce and deliver their passports on time.

Beginning today, October 1, 2018, passport applicants who pay the regular processing fee of P950 will receive their passports after 12 working days, instead of 15 working days.  If you are in a rush and need to get your passport earlier than 12 days, you can choose the Express Processing option for P1,200 and you can get your passport after 6 working days, instead of the usual 7.

Provincial applications normally take 20 working days for regular processing and 10 working days for the express option.  The DFA has reduced these wait times to 12 working days and 7 working days respectively.

Below is a comprehensive guide lifted from the DFA’s website, for our reference:

passport_releasing_schedule_3

Apart from these updates, the DFA is also working on reducing the wait time for passport applicants who wish to secure online appointment slots.  Their goal is to bring the wait time down to two weeks to a month, instead of the current two to three months waiting period.

For more information on passport applications, authentication, and other consular inquiries, you may call the DFA through the following numbers:

02-556-0000, 02-234-3488, 02-834-3000, 02-834-4000

Source: www.dfa.gov.ph

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June 08

My passport is due to expire this month so I really made it a point to have it renewed before the end of May.  It was pretty difficult to get an appointment slot through the www.passport.gov.ph website but I finally was able to secure one last June 2, 2018.

This was not the first time I got an appointment online that is why I was mildly surprised when I received an email from the DFA, instructing me to pay for my passport first, before they can confirm my appointment.  I had to do it fast because if after 48 hours and no payment is posted under my appointment, the slot will be up for grabs in the passport again.

I want to share my experience in today’s blog, to help those who may still not be aware of the DFA’s slightly new process of securing appointments, especially if you chose to have your passport renewed at the DFA Aseana branch.  This new process will be implemented in other DFA branches until they have covered all branches by August 2018.

Step 1: Visit the www.passport.gov.ph to schedule your appointment.

You have to have stable internet connection (and a lot of patience and perseverance!) to get this done.  Also, it would be best to have your old passport handy when filling out the online forms.

Step 2: Pay your passport processing fee at any of the DFA’s authorized Payment Centers.

You can pay at WalterMart, Bayad Center outlets, Villarica Pawnshops, 7-11 stores, ecPay, and Western Union outlets.  I paid mine at the Bayad Center in Robinson’s Ermita.

Here’s my actual experience at that branch:

The teller told me that my payment will post after 24 hours.  I got a bit worried because I had a 48-hour deadline to beat and already, I was beyond 24 hours at the time I was making my payment at Robinson’s.  The teller said that I need not worry because anytime my payment posts, DFA will see the exact date and time when I made the payment and they will know that I paid before the due date.  My appointment was on a Saturday, I was making the payment on a Tuesday – about 3 days ahead of my appointment.

It took me a few minutes to decide if I should hand my payment to the teller or if I should search for a different payment center that can promise me real-time posting of my payment.  In the end, the teller was able to convince me and so I handed her my payment of Php 1,250 (Php 1,200 for the passport and Php 50 service fee for Bayad Center).  She issued me a receipt and instructed me to keep it and bring it with me on my appointment.

Step 3: Print out the confirmed appointment packet that will be emailed to you after you have paid your passport processing fee.

This one I got a few minutes after I left Robinson’s; I printed the documents as soon as I got to the office and attached the receipt that the teller gave me earlier.

Step 4: Personally show up at the DFA consular office on the date and time indicated in your appointment.

Bring with you a copy of your confirmed appointment packet and other required documents and IDs such as you NSO birth certificate, NSO marriage certificate (if you wish to change your maiden last name to your married last name).

More Information:

What is the DFA ePayment Portal?

This is an upgrade to the Online Appointment System that enables passport applicants to pay their passport processing fees through selected payment centers nationwide and eventually through the use of credit and debit cards, and through over-the-counter cash transactions in selected banks.

When will the DFA ePayment Portal be launched?

  • ASEANA: First week of June 2018
  • NCR: On or before the first week of July 2018
  • Nationwide: On or before the first week of August 2018

How does the DFA ePayment Portal work?

Those who are renewing or applying for Philippine ePassports will now be required to prepay the passport processing fees using the DFA ePayment Portal as part of the Online Appointment System.

Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Visit passport.gov.ph and schedule an appointment
  • Read all the reminders carefully before agreeing to the Terms and Conditions of the Online Appointment System.
  • Choose a DFA Consular Office where you wish to apply for or renew your passport.
  • Pick the date and time when you wish to apply for or renew your passport.
  • Fill out all the required fields by providing the information being asked.
  • Carefully review all the details of your application before clicking SUBMIT.
  • Choose your desired passport processing type (expedited or regular processing) before clicking PROCEED TO PAYMENT.
  • Take note of the reference number that will be emailed to you.
  1. Proceed to your preferred Payment Center to pay the passport processing fee.
  • Present your reference number at the Payment Center upon payment of the passport processing fee.
  • One reference number corresponds to one transaction. If you are paying for multiple reference numbers, you need to pay separately for each reference number.
  • Keep the receipt that will be issued to you.
  1. A confirmed appointment packet will be sent to your email once the payment has been successfully processed. Click the link to your passport appointment packet and PRINT OUT the following contents that you need to bring with you during your scheduled appointment.
  • Checklist with your indicated schedule.
  • Confirmed Application Form with the bar code, appointment reference number (ARN), and eReceipt number.
  • Two copies of the eReceipt.
  1. Personally show up at the DFA Consular Office on the date and time indicated in your appointment and make sure to bring a printed copy of your confirmed passport appointment packet and other required documents and IDs.

Is the payment reference number specifically assigned to one payment center?

No, a reference number is universal to all payment centers so you can conveniently pay at any of the authorized payment centers.

Can I use my payment reference number more than once? 

No, a reference number can only be used once.

Where can passport applicants pay their passport processing fees? 

  • Applicants can pay the passport processing fee through any of the following Payment Centers.
    • Bayad Center
    • ecPay
    • Pera Hub
    • Robinson’s Business Center and Department Stores
    • Waltermart Department Store
    • 7-11
    • USCC (Western Union)
    • Villarica Pawnshop
    • Other Payment Centers as well as the credit/debit card payment facility will be made available soon.

 How much do applicants have to pay? 

Passport applicants will need to pay Php 1,200 for expedited processing and Php 950 for regular processing.  A Php 50 convenience fee is charged by authorized Payment Centers on top of the processing fees.

Can the convenience fee and passport processing fee be refunded in case the applicant fails to show up during his/her scheduled appointment?

 No, a refund cannot be processed.

How do I get in touch with DFA in case I have questions or concerns about the ePayment Portal?

 You may call the DFA help desk at 02-234-3488 or email them at info@passport.gov.ph

 

Source: www.dfa.gov.ph

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New Requirements for Green Passport Renewal

Para sa lahat ng naka-schedule at nagbabalak pa lamang magpa renew ng kanilang Green o Machine Readable Passports, importanteng malaman na may bagong patakaran ang Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) sa prosesong ito.

Simula noong Lunes, June 6, 2016, lahat ng domestic applications para sa renewal ng nasabing Green o Machine Readable Passports (MRP) ay mangangailangan ng mga karagdagang IDs at documentary requirements:

  • Ang aktwal na MRP o Green booklet passport
  • PSA Birth Certificate
  • At least one (1) valid identification document.
  • Iba pang supporting documents (i.e. PSA Marriage Certificate kung married ang aplikante at ginagamit ang married name sa passport.)

Siguraduhing dala ninyo ang mga dokumentong ito sa araw ng inyong appointment para maiwasan ang delays sa inyong application for passport renewal.

Tandaan din na simula noong June 1, 2016, ang sino mang hindi sumipot sa araw at oras ng kanyang naktakdang appointment for passport application and renewal ay hindi mabibigyan ng pagkakataon na mag set ng panibagong appointment sa loob ng 30 araw.  Kaya’t markahan ang inyong mga kalendaryo ayon sa appointment na inyong hiniling online para maka-iwas sa abala.

Source: http://www.passport.com.ph/info/requirements/for/renewal

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Dedicated Passport Center for OFWs

Bilang pagpapahalaga at pagbibigay prayoridad sa ating mga kababayang OFW, ang Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) ay maglalagay ng dedicated passport application center para sa mga OFW sa consular office sa Robinson’s Galleria.  Ito ay malapit lamang sa opisina ng Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

Ang mga OFW ay hindi na kailangan pang mag set ng appointment para mag apply ng passport o magpa renew.  Bukas ang dedicated passport application center sa lahat ng mga OFW, kahit unang beses pa lamang niyang umalis o dati nang bumibiyahe para mag trabaho.

Habang hinihintay ang official launch ng nasabing passport application center, ang mga OFW ay patuloy na gagamit ng mga courtesy lanes sa mga DFA consular offices.

Isang paalala lamang sa mga OFW na naka schedule magpa renew ng kanilang passport:  Phased out na green-colored at machine-readable passports.  Kung ganito ang huling passport na gamit at ngayon ay ipapa-renew na, ituturing na New Application ang dapat sana’y renewal lamang.  Dahil dito, kailangang mag dala ng mga documentary requirements ang aplikante tulad ng PSA Birth Certificate at iba pang documents na naka lista sa DFA website.

I-share natin ang article na ito sa lahat n gating mga kamag-anak at kaibigan na nagpa-planong mangibang bansa para mag trabaho.

Source: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/568247/news/pinoyabroad/dfa-creates-dedicated-passport-center-for-ofws

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DFA Imposes 30

Setting an appointment with the DFA to apply for a new passport or have an old one renewed, is free of charge.  All you have to do is log on to the www.passport.com.ph website, choose a DFA branch nearest you, and block off your preferred date and time for the passport application.  It is a convenient means to secure your slot with the DFA and save yourself from waiting in line like before.

The DFA receives an average of 15,000 passport applications daily.  Sadly though, only about 53% of the appointments are fulfilled while the rest simply do not show up.  Essentially, the dates and hours these “no-shows” blocked off are wasted when it could have accommodated other passport applicants.  Since there are no fees involved in setting an appointment, anybody can just block off a schedule and then simply ignore it later on.  If they fail to make it to their original appointment, they can easily set another one, no sweat.  As a result, hundreds of applicants are left with no choice but to wait for as long as two months to be accommodated by the agency.

To address this issue, the DFA announced that those who will fail to show up for their set appointments will be barred from re-applying for 30 days.  This move aims to discourage applicants from taking their appointments for granted and not waste the available slots on the website.

The policy takes effect on June 1, 2016.

Help spread the news to your families and friends.

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/567660/news/pinoyabroad/starting-june-1-no-show-passport-applicants-to-face-30-day-ban

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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.

Married Woman Passport.jpg

When Gemma and PJ got married in 2008, they had to wait until 2009 before they were able to spend their honeymoon in the U.S. Gemma’s passport had to be renewed. She decided to wait until she has all her marriage documents with her because she wanted for her married name to appear on her new passport.

Her mom advised her that she actually has the option to use her maiden name in her Passport, but being the starry-eyed, brand new wife that she was then, she opted to use Geraldine Marie M. Gomez – Gomez being PJ’s last name. Before they celebrated their first wedding anniversary, they flew off to Florida for their much-awaited honeymoon; Gemma brandished her newly updated passport with her newly updated name on it. And since then, she and PJ would make it a point to explore a new country at least once every year.

Unfortunately, the honeymoon fever waned a bit too early for Gemma and PJ and in less than nine years of being married, they both decided to go their separate ways. It did not take long for PJ to find a new relationship while Gemma enjoyed the “single and ready to mingle” lifestyle she sorely missed.

The highlight of her new-found freedom would have been a week-long sojourn with her friends in Bali except that her passport was once again due for renewal. It was at this point when she realized that she wanted to begin dropping her husband’s last name and revert to her maiden name. She remembered her Mom’s advise that women have the option to use their maiden name in their passports and this was exactly what she tried to do when she applied for a passport renewal.

She was terribly surprised when the Department of Foreign Affairs told her that changing her name in her passport is not as easy as she thought it to be.

“But I thought I had the RIGHT to use whatever name I wanted on my passport, whether my maiden or married name?” Even while recovering from shock and disappointment, Gemma managed to listen intently to the DFA’s explanation:

Gemma was clearly referring to Article 370 of the New Civil Code of the Philippines which states that:

A married woman may use:

  1. Her maiden first name and surname and add her husband’s surname, or
  2. Her maiden first name and her husband’s surname or
  3. Her husband’s full name, but prefixing a word indicating that she is his wife, such as “Mrs.”

Unfortunately for Gemma, her decision to use her married name when she had her passport renewed disqualifies her from using Article 370 as basis to change her name on her passport. If she so wishes to use her maiden name, she will have to present a court decree to prove that her marriage to PJ has been annulled or they have been granted legal separation. (Other cases would be that the husband passed away, in which case she would have to present a valid PSA Death Certificate, or the husband obtained a foreign divorce against her.) Article 370 would have only worked in Gemma’s favor had she decided to retain her maiden name in her passport in spite of being married to PJ.

Gemma got her passport and used it to travel the world. It was her way of recovering from her failed marriage while contemplating on her next move. Her wish was granted when, on her 33rd birthday, PJ asked to see her to talk about legalizing their separation. They both decided to go for annulment and mutually agreed to cooperate to make the process easier for both of them. In less than three years, their annulment was granted and Gemma finally got to change her name in all of her identification cards and documents – she is now, once again, Geraldine Marie T. Mendoza.

Lost Passport.jpg

Grace emptied her backpack as soon as she stepped into her hotel room.  She turned the bag upside down and shook out all the contents of the pockets and pouches.  She took off her jacket and cargo pants and rummaged through the pockets, even though she knew she will not find it there.

With trembling hands, she grabbed her iPad and called her cousin in the Philippines, never mind if it’s the middle of the night in Manila.

“Tulungan mo ako beh, nawala ko ang passport ko! Anong gagawin ko?” (Help me, I lost my passport! What am I supposed to do now?)

Losing your passport abroad is a serious matter.  It is your primary identification while outside your home country, a prized ID that allows you to walk through ports of entries and out of immigration offices without hassle.  In other countries, you need to show your passport before they ring up your purchase (tourists are exempted from paying taxes in some countries).  Without it, you are basically an alien, in the strictest sense of the word.

So what is a Pinoy to do when he realizes that his / her passport has gone missing while he’s abroad?  I researched (and researched some more) on how seasoned travelers handled the same situation and have compiled it here for our consumption.  Feel free to share this to friends and families who are frequent travelers.  We’d love to hear about your own experiences too!

  1. Download a copy of the passport application form from the Philippine Embassy website of the country where you are located.  Provide all needed information and make sure that all entries are spelled clearly and correctly.
  2. File a police report and have it authenticated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where the report was filed.
  3. Get a notarized Affidavit of Loss and have this authenticated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where the affidavit was executed.
  4. A copy of the PSA Birth Certificate of the passport holder.
  5. Other identification cards and documents to further support the identity of the applicant.
  6. A photocopy of the lost passport (if available).
  7. Prepare the processing fees which will depend on the country where you are securing the replacement passport.
  8. You might have to cancel or re-schedule some items in your itinerary. If you are there for work or business, inform you boss and colleagues of your situation and the estimated time you need to get back on track.
  9. Once you have established communication with the Philippine Embassy and have been given an estimated timeline as to when your new passport will be released to you, get in touch with your airline.  You might need to extend your stay and therefore, your plane ticket dates need to be extended too.  In Washington D.C., a 15-day waiting period is required on top of the 8 to 12-week processing period if the lost passport is still valid and if the passport was not issued by the Embassy/Consulate General where you are applying for replacement.
  10. Next is to secure the place where you will be staying while waiting for your new passport to be released.  You might need to call relatives and friends who live near the city or state where you are staying.
  11. Secure your finances.  You might want to re-think that shopping spree.  You need to have enough cash with you to last you until you are finally able to leave.
  12. Call your family and colleagues in the Philippines and update them with your whereabouts (who are you staying with, how long will you be staying there, etc.).

Pre – departure Preparations:

  1. Back up all your identification cards.  Photocopy your passport, driver’s license, your social security card, and your company ID.  Keep soft copies in your laptop and in a USB; you might also want to keep copies in your email for easy access.
  2. Consider bringing a copy of your PSA Birth Certificate and PSA Marriage Certificate (if married).  These can come in handy when securing replacement for your lost passport.  Keep soft copies in your email and electronic devices too.
  3. Your plane tickets and boarding passes must be photocopied or scanned as well.  Keep soft copies in your tablet, phone, and in your email for easy access.
  4. Take note of the phone numbers of the Philippine Embassy of your destination.  Check out their location and office hours online.

Of course, the best solution is still to take precautionary measures and to always be extra careful with your belongings especially while in a foreign land.  Losing something as important as a passport is enough to ruin an otherwise exciting trip.  Don’t lose heart when you do lose something though; remember, every problem has a solution.  You just need to be calm and collected when faced with such challenges.  And always, always arm yourself with a back-up plan.

Sources:

http://www.ofwguide.com/article_item-2346/Lost-your-passport-abroad–Get-A-New-One.html

http://www.philippineembassy-usa.org/index.php?page=consular-services-dc/faq-dc/

Reverification.jpgWhen applying for an Immigrant Visa to the U.S., an applicant may be required to submit additional documents to establish his eligibility. If this happens, the applicant is essentially “denied” under Section 221 (g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. There are no prescribed lists of documents you will be asked to submit; you will instead receive a letter from the US Embassy informing you of the additional documentation and how to submit these. It is important that you provide an active email address that you regularly access to avoid any delays in your response and submission as this will greatly affect your visa application.

In cases when the additional documents you need to submit are PSA-certified documents (or civil registry documents), such as: PSA Birth Certificate, PSA Marriage Certificate, PSA Death Certificate, you may follow the procedure below. These were lifted from http://manila.usembassy.gov/

Option 1: Submit the Re-verification Form in person at the Pasay City Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) outlet:

  1. Go to the Pasay City PSA outlet.
  2. Complete the colored NSO document request form provided at the PSA outlet.
  3. Submit BOTH the colored NSO document request form and the Re-verification Form to the PSA clerk.
  4. Pay the required fee. Keep your receipt. This serves as proof you submitted the form to PSA.

Note: This form will only be accepted in person at the Pasay City PSA outlet.

Option 2: Log on to www.nsohelpline.ph

  1. Click on the Order Now! Button.
  2. Choose the PSA document you need.
  3. Choose US Embassy Reverification; keep your reverification form.
  4. Fill out the Reverification Form Details and then click on the Submit button.

You also have the option to call the PSAHelpline hotline at 737-1111. If you are accessing the site with your phone, you will notice a “Call Now” green button on your screen. You may simply click on the icon to connect to a PSAHelpline customer care officer.

The PSA will submit the requested documents directly to the U.S. Embassy. All you have to do is be on standby for the embassy’s call or email regarding the status of your visa application. You may also contact the Visa Information and Appointment Service Center at (632) 976-8500, (632) 976-8501, or (632) 976-8502.

First Passport

You’ve been waiting for the perfect time to take your toddler with you on your next out-of-the-country trip and be able to finally take a selfie with him by the Disneyland arch in Hong Kong. His first four years, when he is beginning to become curious with his surroundings but is also already familiar with cartoon characters he sees on TV, is probably the best time to take him on such trips. He hasn’t started school yet so it would be easier to plan trips without worrying about school schedules. Also, his very own passport will serve as his very first I.D., valid and accepted in government and business establishments.

Applying for your child’s first passport is easy. At the DFA in Aseana (Pasay City), you do not even need to get an appointment if your child is seven years old and below. Just make sure that you have all the IDs and supporting documents required by the DFA. Below is an updated list lifted from the www.passport.com.ph

General Requirements:

  1. Confirmed appointment (except for 7 years old and below in DFA Aseana; 1 year old and below in other DFA branches).
  2. Personal appearance of minor applicant.
  3. Personal appearance of either parent and valid passport of parents (if minor is a legitimate child).
  4. Personal appearance of mother and proper ID or valid passport of mother (if minor is an illegitimate child).
  5. Original Birth Certificate of minor in Security Paper issued by the PSA or Certified True Copy of Birth Certificate issued by the Local Civil Registrar and duly authenticated by PSA. Transcribed Birth Certificate from the LCR is required when entries in PSA Birth Certificate are blurred or unreadable. Report of Birth duly authenticated by PSA is required if minor was born abroad.
  6. Document of identity with photo, if minor is 8-17 years old (for first time and renewal applicant) such as School ID or Form 137 with readable dry seal.
    • For minor applicants who never attended school, a Notarized Affidavit of Explanation executed by either parent (if minor is a legitimate child) / by mother (if minor is an illegitimate child) detailing the reasons why the child is not in school, is required.
  7. Marriage Certificate of minor’s parents duly authenticated by PSA (for legitimate child).
  8. Original and photocopy of valid passport of the person traveling with the minor.

For the rest of the requirements on different cases of taking a minor on an overseas travel, visit www.passport.com.ph and click on Documentary Requirements.

Enjoy your trip!

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