All OFWs likes their vacation to be pleasant, relaxing, and of course to be with family every single day. This is the most awaited time to be cherished and to collect fun memories.
On the other hand, we also have a list of things to do which we need to address and have kept especially when we are home again. This list will makes our vacation productive at the same time. This includes processing of our personal documents. These are the ones that would be easier and faster to do if you will attend to it by ourselves. If you delegate them to someone, we would most likely need a Special Power of Attorney (SPA) or notarized authorization letter from Philippine Embassy. That we will only resort if really needed.
I had my vacation last month and these were the items on my to do list;
Photo credit to: https://citizenservices.com.ph/blog/view/id/746
For us OFWs, one of the most important IDs and needs to be safeguarded is the passport.
Make sure your passport is valid for at least nine more months if you will travel. Using an almost expiring passport for travelling to other countries, other than your home country, is not allowed.
Passport renewal can be done in the Philippine Embassy. It takes about 6-8 weeks for the passport to be released after encoding at the Embassy. Also, make an appointment online before visiting the Embassy except you fall to any of the following;
- 7 years old below
- Senior citizen 60 years and older
- Those with physical disabilities
- Females who are pregnant (with medical certificate as proof)
- Those who have lost their passports and need a replacement.
Please refer to this link Consular Services to check the requirements and for more details.
Currently the passport renewal fee at the Philippine Embassy in Saudi Arabia is 240SAR for passport renewal while for the lost passport is –SR 360 for Green or MRP plus additional SR 100 for Affidavit and SR 600 for e-Passport plus additional SR 100 for Affidavit.
If you are planning to renew it in the Philippines, OFWs are accommodated through a courtesy lane. Online appointment is not required. You just need to go to the nearest DFA Satellite Office early because they have a cut-off for this lane. Passport renewal fee payment will be done at the cashier.
I renewed my passport at the DFA Satellite Office in Robinsons Novaliches. I went there at 10 AM to reach the cut-off for courtesy lane. I didn’t want to miss the opportunity. DFA NCR office hours starts at 10am to 6pm.
Photo Credit to: Robinsons Novaliches FB page
I brought my daughter with me to try if we can renew her passport as well.
We mistakenly lined up together with the crowd of online appointments and when we reached the security guard, they mentioned that we must wait along with other OFWs and Senior Citizens for the courtesy lane. Do not commit the same mistake that I did. Look for the queues for OFWs right away.
During my queue, I humbly asked the guard if they could allow my daughter to renew her passport as well together with me. We waited for a while they allowed her, too.
DFA asked for existing passport and valid visa (as a proof that I am an OFW). Accordingly, if you plan to renew your passport in the Philippines, don’t forget to bring original and copy of your passport (data page for copy), visa or employment certificate and birth/marriage certificate as additional supporting documents.
I paid 1,200 pesos for each passport because it is considered as express or rush and the period of processing for this is only six business days.
I renewed my passport almost the Holy Week and there was an earthquake that hit Manila. This affected the release of my passport. Check the calendar and make allowance for holidays if you plan to do it in the Philippines.
Nevertheless, the overall the experience is pleasant. The queue was long, but it was bearable and the DFA staffs are courteous.
I have experienced renewing my passport in the Philippine Embassy in KSA and in the DFA Philippines and I could say that I have pleasant experiences in both.
Philippines Statistics Authority Documents
Photo credit to: Philippine News Agency
Other document that I needed were my family birth certificate and marriage certificate.
Philippine Statistics Authority is formerly known as National Statistics Office. They have the archived of Birth, Marriage, Death Certificates and releases Certificate of No Marriage.
As the government agency changed their name, their letterhead or the paper itself where the certificate is printed has been changed as well.
While I was in PSA, I overheard one of the young ladies that their school is requiring them to submit a birth certificate released by PSA. They don’t accept certificate with the NSO logo anymore. Well, does it mean the certificates that have been reproduced during the NSO time is now invalid?
Photo credit to: up-daily.com
I still have copies of my family birth certificates including our marriage certificate but printed with the NSO logo. I decided to take new ones for additional copies. I mentioned on my previous post to always be ready as opportunities might come during unexpected times. Prepare the things that you can process at one go to avoid any delay and to maximize your productivity for the day.
Actually, these documents can be requested online. The fees for online request are Php365.00 per copy of Birth, Marriage or Death certificate and Php465.00 per copy of CENOMAR. PSA certificates will be delivered anywhere in the Philippines within 2 to 7 working days depending on your location after the payment has been confirmed. These can be paid online using credit cards or ask help from your relatives or friends to pay it via GCash or use Bancnet ATM Card and pay through an ATM. Payments are also accepted through ECPay at 7-Eleven stores, selected Bayad Center outlets and TouchPay machines, and over-the-counter in all Metrobank and Security Bank branches nationwide.
The status of your ordered documents can be tracked as well through PSAHelpline.ph (formerly NSOHelpline.com) using the reference number of the request.
I have tried the online request once and the NSO successfully delivered the certificates (so effective 🙂 ).
Last vacation, I personally went to PSA main branch in Quezon City because I needed the certificates urgently for my other errands.
What I have experience with PSA which is not quite what I have expected
It was Holy Week then; I was thinking people were out for vacation. Well, I was wrong. Before I passed the entrance going to the building the queue was very long (para ka na din pumila sa MRT during rush hour).
Queue before you reach the building.
So, I decided to drop by the bank first and left the line. I finished my bank transaction under an hour and returned to PSA. The queue was still very long but not as much in the morning. I was able to get the certificates at almost 6pm in the evening.
Queue at the parking area
Queue inside the processing area
The lesson is patience is really a virtue.
Stay calm while processing your important documents. Be tolerant with the agencies and the people around you. They are beyond your control. What is important is you get things done.
PS: I will share on my next article the other errands that I did that might interest you.