The Philippine passport has seen big improvements and progress over the years. In fact, as of 2020, passport holders can visit 67 destinations visa-free.
According to the latest Henley & Partners Passport Index, this makes our country’s passport the 76th most powerful passport in the world out of 199 countries. The passport also serves as a valid identification in various ways that need a valid ID such as getting a driver’s license.
However, many people still do not have a passport for themselves, perhaps because of ignorance of the procedure. Thus, here is a step-by-step guide on getting your very own passport.
1. Prepare Your Requirements
Before everything else, make sure you have the necessary requirements so that you will not have any trouble when applying for your passport. One of these requirements is your Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Authenticated Birth Certificate, both original and photocopied.
You must also make sure to bring with you a valid ID, along with a photocopy of it, deemed acceptable by the DFA. Here is a list of acceptable IDs as of 2020.
- Social Security System (SSS) Card
- Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) Card
- Unified Multi-Purpose Identification (UMID) Card
- Land Transportation Office (LTO) Driver’s License. Student Permit may be accepted if in card format.
- Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) ID
- Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) E-Card
- Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Voter’s ID or Voter’s Certificate issued from COMELEC main office in Intramuros, Manila (Certificates issued in COMELEC’s regional offices may require further verification. Applicants are requested to present NBI or police clearance along with the Voter’s Certificate).
- Philippine National Police (PNP) Permit to Carry Firearms Outside Residence
- Senior Citizen ID
- Airman License (issued August 2016 onwards)
- Philippine Postal ID (issued November 2016 onwards)
- Seafarer’s Record Book (SRB) (*must be issued Feb 2020 onwards) issued by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA)
- Valid or Latest Passport (For Renewal of Passport)
- For minor applicants, School ID OR Certificate of Enrolment with photo of minor and dry seal of school may be presented
In cases where you cannot avail a birth certificate due to circumstances, you may view the list of supporting documents here [https://consular.dfa.gov.ph/passport/10-passport/61-passport-requirements-new-adult].
2. Secure an online appointment
The first step in acquiring your passport after you have secured your requirements is to secure an online appointment through the DFA’s website [https://www.passport.gov.ph/appointment]. Here, you can choose your preferred site location and time of appointment.
Follow through the instructions and fill in the necessary fields marked by a red asterisk to go through the process. You also need a working email address that you can access because you will provide an email address for the system to send automated messages regarding the process. The online appointment is a first-come, first-serve basis and you should be quick to secure a schedule especially if your area is populated, such as the case for Cebu.
You can choose between starting an individual appointment or a group appointment. An individual appointment is recommended if you are the only one applying for a passport. If you have friends or a group with you, start a group appointment.
3. Pay the passport fee
During your online appointment, you are to choose a payment method for your passport fee. It will show you a list of available authorized payment centers or channels where you can pay it, along with the necessary total amount of the fee. Choose whichever is most convenient for you. You can also pay via a debit or credit card.
Most importantly, make sure to pay the passport fee within 48 hours of a successful online appointment. An email will be sent to your email address with a reference number. Present this number to your selected payment center and pay the fee.
The list of payment channels supported by the DFA include:
- Bayad Center
- Pera Hub
- Robinsons Business Center and Department Stores
- Waltermart Department Store
- USCC (Western Union)
- Villarica Pawnshop
- Credit/Debit card
After paying, keep the receipt. You will be sent another email message confirming your payment along with attached documents that you will need to print and present. Follow the instructions inside the email message.
4. Proceed to your selected site on your selected date and time
Proceed to your selected appointment location on your selected date and time. Ensure that you will arrive on time as being late will not get you to your appointment and you will not get accommodated. To be safe, make sure to arrive 30 minutes or so before your appointed time.
Make sure to wear appropriate attire as you will have your picture taken during the process. Remember to wear a face mask and face shield and observe social distancing. Minors need to be accompanied by an adult companion. Do not forget to bring with you the necessary documents that you have printed to present to the DFA. Do not forget to bring the requirements as well mentioned in Step 1.
5. Present your documents and get your picture taken
Once it is your time, a DFA representative will ask for the needed documents such as receipts, valid IDs, passport form, etc. Once they are confirmed and verified, you will proceed to get your picture along with your fingerprint taken.
Follow through the instructions of the DFA during the process and do not hesitate to ask questions if you are confused about the process or if you do not know where to go next.
6. Claim your passport
Once you are done with the process, the DFA will instruct you on how to get your passport. There are two ways to claim your passport.
- The DFA office will give you a claim stub or official receipt with a date on when to claim your passport. During said date, you can claim it at the Passport Releasing section. If you’re not available to personally claim your passport, you can ask a representative to do it on your behalf, provided that you execute a Special Power of Attorney in a new tab. containing the reason/s why you aren’t able to claim it yourself.
- Via courier service: wait for your passport to be delivered to your mailing address approximately 1 to 2 weeks after your application. In case you won’t be available to receive it personally, a representative must show the claim stub/Official receipt, an authorization letter with your signature, and valid IDs of both you and the said representative.
Rates & Other Information
- Passport Fee: The passport fee is P1200, but may increase or decrease depending on the DFA.
- Courier Service (Optional): P150
- If you have any questions or concerns regarding the process, you can visit their website [https://consular.dfa.gov.ph/] to check if your concern can be answered.
- You can also contact them through their ‘Contact Us’ page [https://consular.dfa.gov.ph/contact-us].