Applying for Passports in Philippines
Along with a visa, your passport is one of the most important travel documents you will need. In the Philippines, this document is issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and by Philippine diplomatic missions in other countries. A Philippine passport is issued to a Filipino citizen and is also a main identification document.
There are four types of Philippine passports that the government issues: regular, diplomatic, official, and the seaman’s identification record book.
A regular passport has a maroon cover and is the most common type of passport issued to traveling Filipino citizens and government officials on non-official travels.
A diplomatic passport, on the other hand, is only for members of the Philippine diplomatic service, service attachés of the government, Cabinet members, and Philippine delegates to regional and international organizations.
An official passport is for members of the Philippine government who are on official business, and also to employees of Philippine diplomatic communities abroad. Government officials are not allowed to use this for non-official matters.
The fourth type, or the seaman’s identification record book, has a light blue cover and is issued to applicants who will work as crew members on foreign ships. This one is issued by the Maritime Industry Authority or MARINA.
If you are a Filipino citizen living in the Philippines, applying for a passport is easy. You just have to furnish the necessary documents and appear personally before the officer.
The most important document is your original birth certificate, issued by the National Statistics Office or NSO in security paper. However, you may also substitute this with a certified true copy or a photocopy of your birth certificate as long as it is issued by the Local Civil Registrar and authenticated by the NSO.
In order to establish your identity clearly and make processing faster and smoother, you may need to bring additional documents like your voter’s ID, employment ID, NBI clearance, and driver’s license.
Along with these, take three copies of a recent photo of you measuring 4.5 cm x 3.5 cm. They require a colored picture with a plain white background. You must also be wearing a decent top with collar.
Finally, a specified personal appearance is not required when you are eight years and below, 65 years and above, or, physically or mentally incapacitated.
When applying for a passport at the DFA, be careful of fixers waiting outside the compound. Some of them may be wearing identification cards with the logo of the government agency on it. Don’t fall victim to any of them as you can be charged as much as three times the real cost of a passport. They can offer to process your papers for you or take your picture for money. If you are fresh from the provinces, take special care as you are often the main targets of these unscrupulous individuals. (Learn how to get rid of scammers)