How to get a Philippine passport for a child?
Posted 30 January 2009 - 04:27 AM
In Philippines the situation is more complicated than in Thailand, I guess.
For example in case of my fostergirl:
You need the birth certificate, and most children living in the street or somewhere out in poverty do not have that. To get this certificate might be a major challenge, even if the parents are known - these parents often also do not have legal papers.
You need the passport, and if you know, who is the mother or father, and one parent is willing to sign, and the birth certificate is issued on so-called security paper, this is not a problem. The passport will be issued.
Finally you need a travel clearance for all minors, who are holding Philippine citizenship, and it MUST be signed by both parents beside guarantees by the foreigner who is taking the child out to overseas.
Even if one parent is travelling with the child, the other parent must sign his/her agreement (affidavit), otherwise the child cannot leave Philippines territory.
This is true, even in case parents are living separated - in Philippines is no legal divorce, even if they are separated since 10 years, as in my case.
Only in case, the child was born by a single mother (illegitimate child), it is the mother, who can sign as solely responsible for travel clearance.
In my case this procedure is impossible (also confirmed by consultation of the authorities in Cebu) and therefore my fostergirl cannot leave the Philippines, until she is 18+.
Posted 30 January 2009 - 04:58 AM
Posted 30 January 2009 - 01:21 PM
Philippines has rigorous restrictions about its Filipino minor citizens when travelling abroad.
To prevent child trafficking, The Philippines Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act requires unaccompanied minors below 18 years old who are traveling abroad to secure a travel clearance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
It's understandable if you know about the situation of children within Philippines in rural villages and in slums around the cities. These children are not supposed to go abroad, as they are on high risk to be misused by criminals.
In any case, Philippine children are travelling abroad without BOTH of their parents, the Philippine government wants exactly to know in advance, where these children will be living overseas and with whom, and who are the parents and why they cannot travel with their children.
To fulfill all requirements is easy for an upper-class Philippine family, when sending their children abroad to visit other families or for studies, as all documents, the sponsor overseas and the parents themselves are available to testify personally either in the Philippine Embassy or with a DSWD office in Philippines. Still a lot of paperwork is required to get the permission.
However almost all of these 2 million Philippine street-children or slum-children cannot present their parents PERSONALLY and their family documents - same my case, such documents and such parents do not exist.
See, many Filipino children do not have any registration when they are born. They never will be out of their own island for all their life anyway. Some children after birth are registered often some months later and only a provisorial note by a local authority will be written - these children do not need more - sometimes, like in my case, the birth was registered by people in the village, not by the mother, not by the father and they did not even know the birthdate. But we know, who is father and mother but they do not care, they did not even go to the village office to register, so what to do? Finally some people in the village, who are not the real parents signed up as father and mother...
Perhaps you could detail the situation (family etc) of your foster girl. There must surely be some way around it, even if it meant going to a higher authority for a special court order? It's a long time for her to wait/miss out on opportunity
Yes, I could claim this and that in Philippine courts as you suggest but I am joking. It took us about 6 years to get an official birth certificate for this girl, the most important document should she ever apply in her life for a passport.
It took me about 4 years to bring my girl into a private health insurance cover, as ill children/malnutrition etc. are not accepted. Pay cash or die early - there is no public health care in Philippines.
The only realistic solution is now to continue to visit the Philippines and she has to wait for her overseas trip. She is now already 14 years old. When 18+ she can travel overseas - no restrictions, if she has the birth certificate and she can arrange the passport by herself.
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