One of my mom’s friends has a special needs kid. Whenever the family travels abroad, the child’s parents usually have to prepare her favorite toy for boarding, and often have to research where they should eat in advance since she gets antsy if certain kinds of food aren’t on the menu.
Once, a visiting foreign guest asked them why they wouldn’t simply entrust their kid to her grandparents on such occasions. Their answer? “We couldn’t possibly leave any of our children behind while we enjoy ourselves on vacation.”
The takeaway here is that most Filipinos would always choose to have their kids with them if they could. One of the ways to make that happen is to make sure your child has a valid passport so you can take them with you just about anywhere.
So, what do you need to get your child’s travel documents in order?
1. Birth Certificate.
There are two kinds of birth certificates you can submit on behalf of your child: the one issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Security Paper or the certified true copy issued by the local civil registrar (LCR).If your child was born abroad, you will need to present a Report of Birth authenticated by the PSA.
For illegitimate children that are acknowledged by their fathers, their PSA-issued birth certificates should reflect the latter’s surname and should come with an Affidavit of Acknowledgment and Consent allowing for the use of such.
However, if the applicant was legitimized by his or her parents’ subsequent marriage, this should be annotated on his or her birth certificate.
Meanwhile, late-registered Muslim applicants should procure their Certificate of Tribal Affiliation from the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos. Converts who wish to use their Muslim name, on the other hand, are required to present a Certificate of Conversion from the previously mentioned governing body as well as an annotated PSA-authenticated birth certificate bearing their Muslim name.
Lastly, in cases where the child was legally adopted, original and certified true copies (CTC’s) of the following are required: a PSA-authenticated birth certificate prior to adoption, a PSA-authenticated birth certificate following adoption, and the Court Decision or Order on Adoption and Certificate of Finality.
2. Valid Picture ID.
For school-aged kids, a student ID or a form 137 with a readable dry seal would suffice.
Do bear in mind that if your kid is between the ages of eight and seventeen and has never been to school, you will need to provide a notarized affidavit of explanation.
3. Parents’ Marriage Certificate.
As with the child’s birth certificate, this too has to be authenticated by the PSA.
If the applicant’s parents were annulled or divorced, this document should reflect such, and the accompanying adult should also present a court order awarding the child’s guardianship to a substitute parental authority if s/he is in the custody of neither parent.
Orphaned minors, on the other hand, will need a copy of their parents’ PSA-authenticated death certificates, and a court order awarding their guardianship to a substitute parental authority.
4. Adult Companion’s Passport Plus a Photocopy of the Said Document.
The adult companion could be the child’s parents, legal guardians, or if the mother is a minor herself, the applicant’s maternal godparents.
It should be noted that if the child is traveling alone or with an adult who does not qualify as any of the aforementioned entities, the latter should obtain the applicant’s travel clearance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
The last two steps in a child’s passport application process are no different from those of an adult’s: 1.) They will need to book a confirmed appointment on the DFA website, and 2.) They will need to make a personal appearance on the said appointment. Remember, the accompanying adult should also have his or her passport ready then. Failure to keep the appointment will result in getting barred from making another one for the next thirty (30) days.
One last tip: DFA Aseana now processes passport applications on Saturdays. This way, you don’t have to disrupt your child’s class schedule during the week.