Recently, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) made setting up appointments for passports easier online. As a matter of fact, they’re opening passport appointment slots every single day for everyone to have an opportunity to apply. Now that you’ll be having your passport, it’s also important to know things about your passport. Given the fact that it’s your first time having your passport, there are things that might be new to us. However, if you’ve had your passport for quite some time now, you must know this but if not, then you better do. In this article, we will be detailing some of the more important passport reminders everyone should know.
Given the fact that the validity of the Philippine passport was extended from five (5) years to ten (10) years, it’s quite a hassle if something happens that your passport won’t be valid anymore. So, it’s safe to say that you should take utmost care of your passport; other than the fact that it’s one solid valid identification.
What are the key passport reminders you should be aware of?
Keep it away from children’s reach
Children tend to treat everything they can write on as sketchbooks. Needless to say that they’re not aware of what it is, let’s be more responsible for our things. This goes for everything and everyone; not just about passports. Everything that you think is important and that should not be spoiled must be kept out of children’s reach.
Do not tamper with, deface, or crumple it
Our passports were made to have a cover for a reason – in order for its inside pages not to be crumpled! The tendency of having a defaced and tampered with passport is that authorities might not be able to identify you. So, as much as possible, try to keep it as is when you first got it. Do not ever write on it with a pen, do not crumple the pages, do not tear a page on it, you know the rest.
In addition to all of those, do not staple, paste, or put stickers on your passports. Doing so might lead you to face the same process you’ve underwent. Nobody likes to re-apply for an appointment and to submit everything for the second time, right?
As much as possible, DO NOT LOSE IT
You all do know the hassle of securing yourself a copy of your passport, right? That simply means that if you lose it, you’ll have to go through that same hassle again. Although we have priority lanes and courtesy lanes, it’s still a process so you need to ensure that it NEVER GETS LOST. Imagine going through the same phase; the same boring, long, and tedious process just because you lost your passport.
Do not forget to claim your passport
Remember when you applied for your passport? Well, one of the most important passport reminders is that you should never take it off of your mind. In compliance to the Department Order No. 37-03, you have a full six (6) months to claim your passport if in the event it was not delivered to you; or if you were not able to pick it up on the date of claiming. If you fail to claim your passport after the allowed time period, the passport is automatically canceled.
Do not ever pawn your passports
One of the habits of OFWs living here in the country is pawing their passports. To tell you honestly, folks, this is illegal. If you’re caught, you might be sentenced to jail or you have to pay a certain fee. Why do they do this, you may ask? They use it as loan collateral to somehow give assurance to the person they’re pawning it to that they’ll pay the loan because they need their passports to board planes.
Let me tell you, for the last time that this is not a legal act. If you get caught by authorities you may face consequences to the extent that you won’t be able to go back outside of the country in the near future.
So what should I do?
Now if you’re a Philippine passport holder, you need to be aware that your passport is key for you to travel and even work or study outside the country. Those passport reminders, if you’ll notice, those are just the basic stuff. However, people tend to forget those because they think that applying for a passport is as easy as 1-2-3. In fact, thousands of people apply for passport applications daily and that number alone is evidence that applying for a copy is not easy.
- Always keep your passport in a safe, dry place and keep it from children’s reach
- Bring your passport every time you need to present a valid ID because it’s considered a primary valid ID
- Avoid placing it in locations where it can get wet or spoiled
Keeping your passport safe and sound is not as hard as it may seem. As a matter of fact, it’s just simple – just always be aware where your passport is an keep it somewhere where you’re the only one who has access to it.