Minors traveling either alone or with a person other than the parents or legal guardians are required to secure a travel authority from the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
*Illegitimate children traveling abroad who are accompanied by their biological father are still required to secure a travel clearance certificate because parental authority is vested on the biological mother by virtue of the Family Code of the Philippines (Title VI, Chapter 3, Article, 176 of Executive Order No. 209, s. 1987).
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reiterates to parents and guardians to secure travel clearances for their children, 17 years old and below, who will be traveling abroad without them.
Secretary of Social Welfare Corazon Juliano-Soliman said that the travel clearance aims to prevent child trafficking and other forms of abuse that a minor might encounter while traveling abroad.
The issuance of a travel clearance is specified under the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act and the Philippine Passport Act of 1996.
The travel clearance shall be issued by the DSWD to a Filipino minor traveling to a foreign country unaccompanied by his/her parents and to an illegitimate child traveling with his/her father. Personal appearance of the minor is not necessary.
The requirements needed to obtain a travel clearance for minors traveling abroad are:
The application for travel clearance together with the required supporting documents shall be submitted by the parent/s or legal guardian or a duly authorized representative to the nearest DSWD regional office. The application forms may also be downloaded from the DSWD website (www.dswd.gov.ph).
Minor traveling alone to a foreign country for the first time:
Minors traveling for the first time with a person other than the parents or legal guardians:
The travel clearance is approved and issued within 24 hours as long as supporting documents are complied with and the social worker’s assessment is completed.
As of December 2014, DSWD has issued 40,282 travel clearances to minors traveling abroad. DSWD-Field Office in NCR issued the most number of clearances, amounting to 10,405.
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