DSWD reminds guardians to secure overseas travel clearance for minors
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Wednesday reminded guardians to secure a travel clearance for minors who will travel abroad alone or without their company.
DSWD spokesperson and Assistant Secretary for Strategic Communications Romel Lopez said the reiteration of their guidelines is to “prevent abuse and exploitation” among Filipino children who will travel overseas.
“With the approaching holiday season, the DSWD urges parents and legal guardians to secure travel clearance for their children who will be going abroad unaccompanied by adults or without their parents,” he said.
“This will protect the best interest of children since they will be safeguarded from any act that may constitute child trafficking,” he added.
The DSWD said that travel clearance is a document issued by either DSWD Field Offices or the National Authority on Child Care — whichever applies to the minor traveling abroad.
According to the DSWD, the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act and the Philippine Passport Act of 1996 specify the issuance of travel clearance for minors.
The agency likewise noted that children without travel clearance issued from them shall not be allowed to travel alone or be accompanied by another person who is not their parent or legal guardian.
The DSWD further added that under its Omnibus Guidelines on Minors Traveling Abroad, only minors aged 13 years old and above with a travel clearance are allowed to travel alone.
Minors 12 years old and below shall be accompanied by their parents or legal guardians when traveling abroad.
“The DSWD is mandated to provide special protection to children from all forms of abuse, exploitation, trafficking, and/or sale or any practice prejudicial to their development,” the agency said.
The DSWD noted that travel clearance certificates may be obtained within three working days upon submission of complete documents. It can be processed on-site in any of the DSWD Field Offices within the minor’s residence.
The complete list of requirements may be accessed through this link: www.dswd.gov.ph/travel-clearance-for-minors/.
The DSWD said that a processing fee of P300 for a certificate valid for one year, or P600 for a certificate valid for two years is required.
There is a newly-opened satellite office for securing travel clearance for minors traveling overseas in SM City Manila, the agency said.