DSWD 8 urges submission of travelling minor documents prior to foreign trip
Tacloban City (April 27) -– There are no hassles in securing travel clearance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for minors who are traveling abroad without their parents. This is just as long as the requirements are submitted one week before travel.
This was learned from Ms. Raquel Mateo, Social Worker in charge of issuing the certificates at the DSWD Regional Office No. 8, when interviewed by PIA.
Ms. Mateo observed that this summer, more are securing the travel clearances because they are availing of the Disneyland summer promotions in Hongkong, while others are going on vacation to Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Canada, Bahrain and Thailand. In the first quarter of 2007, the DSWD Field Office has processed 69 travel clearances for minors coming from the Region traveling without their parents.
In order to avoid any delay in the travel schedule of the minors, Ms. Mateo advised those concerned to submit the requirements for travel clearances one week or seven days before the travel.
She said that a travel clearance is a document issued by the DSWD to a minor who is below 18 years of age travelling abroad alone or with someone other than his or her parents. The travel clearance is issued as a measure to prevent child trafficking.
Ms. Mateo informed that the requirements for application of travel clearance include duly accomplished application form; photocopy of the birth certificate or passport of the minor; a written consent of both parents, the solo parent, or the legal guardian permitting the minor to travel alone to a foreign country; photocopy of the marriage certificate of the minor’s parents, or certificates establishing solo parenthood; two colored passport size photos of the minors taken within the last six months.
She added that for subsequent travels, the requirements are duly-accomplished application form, written consent of both parents, the solo parent, or the legal guardian permitting the minor to travel alone to a foreign country, a photocopy of the previous travel clearance; and two colored passport size photos.
Ms. Mateo said the travel clearance is valid for multiple travels within the one year validity period, provided that the conditions under which the travel clearance was issued have not changed. If a change in condition occurs, like change of traveling companion, a new travel clearance must be obtained.
Ms. Mateo informed that it used to be that travel clearances for minors are secured even if the minor is traveling alone with either of the parents. However, in April 2006, the guidelines have been amended, and it is only when the minor is traveling abroad with persons other than the parents, will the travel clearance be required.
Parents, legal guardians or a duly authorized representative may file the application at any DSWD field office, Ms. Mateo said. So far, there has been no problem faced by the DSWD Field Office 8 with regards to travel clearances for minors, Ms. Mateo concluded. (PIA 8) [top]