What is a Philippine Passport?
A Philippine passport is a travel document and is a Primary National ID issued to citizens of the Philippines. It is issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Philippine diplomatic missions abroad, with certain exceptions. Besides facilitating international travel and conferring, it is considered a primary form of identification in the Philippines, particularly because there is no national identity card system in the country.
The passport is a popular target for counterfeiters, due largely to the relatively liberal visa requirements accorded to Philippine travelers to destinations such as Brunei, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and other APEC and ASEAN member nations. Due to this, the Department of Foreign Affairs started issuing maroon machine-readable passports since September 17, 2007, and biometric passports since August 11, 2009. The green colored cover non-electronic passports are still acceptable until they expire. Philippine passports are printed at the Security Plant Complex of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
The new maroon-colored passport is machine-readable, in compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s requirement. Green passports, however, will still be valid until their validity date according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
The current green passports can indeed be used until their validity dates but the risk is that by 2010, some countries have the prerogative not to accept the green passport as a valid travel document.
Please take note that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) requires all member states to issue machine readable passports no later than April 2010. This means that after April 2010, other countries can decide not to accept into their borders any foreigner who holds a passport that is not machine readable.
The DFA advised all Filipino passport holders to always inquire with the embassy or immigration office of the country they plan to go to about the validity of their non-machine-readable passports. The DFA cannot ensure that all countries will accept Filipino green passports after 2010. Some of them might but they also have the prerogative not to.
For all travels within the Philippines, however, green passports can still be used even in 2011, 2012 or until the passport’s validity period.
You must be a citizen of the Republic of the Philippines to have a Philippine passport. Those who have dual citizenship in the Philippines and of another nation are also entitled to a Philippine passport. Former Filipino nationals who are naturalized citizens of another country are not allowed to keep a Philippine passport.
Below is the general information every applicant may need for applying Philippine passport.
- For First-Time Applicants
Filipino citizens who are over 18 must appear at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) office to submit their application forms. Together with the application form, you are required to bring a birth certificate in security paper issued by the National Statistics Office (NSO) or a Ceritfied True Copy of your birth certificate that was issued by the local civil registrar and authenticated by the NSO. A photo of you will be taken in the DFA so there is no need to bring ID-sized photos. If you are below 18, you must bring all the above documents and be accompanied by a parent. If your parents aren’t married, you must appear with your birth mother.
- For Married Women First-Time Applicants
Married women who want to use the surname of their spouse must bring all the documents required for a first-time adult applicant along with their marriage contract. For those who want to revert back to their maiden name (due to spouse’s death, annulment or divorce) are required to bring the deceased husband’s death certificate, the judgment of annulment decree or judgment of divorce, respectively.
- Renewal For Married Women and Minors
Married women who wish to renew their passports must make a personal appearance at the Department of Foreign Affairs and bring in their marriage contract. Minors must appear with either parent, but if the parents are abroad, the minor can bring an affidavit of support and consent or a special power of attorney. The passport and photocopy of the passport of the person traveling with the child must also be presented.
The photo of the new passport must show a full frontal shot of the passport holder’s face, occupying approximately 70-80% of the photograph. The photograph should be printed on good quality photo paper, preferably matte, and must be free from ink marks, dirt, grease, or other stains.
Background color of the picture must be royal blue or dark blue. Size must be 4.5 cm x 3.5 cm.
Applicant should be in decent attire with collar and sleeves and in dark-colored shirt. Ears and forehead should be visible. Wearing of accessories, colored contact lenses or eyeglasses, with name/name board are not allowed.