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DSWD reminds public to secure travel clearance for minors going abroad without parents

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has reiterated its guidelines to secure travel clearance for minors aged 17 years old and below who are traveling abroad alone or without their parents.

DSWD Asst. Secretary for Strategic Communications Romel Lopez, who is also agency spokesperson, said this is to prevent abuse and exploitation of Filipino children who are going to study abroad, attend competitions overseas, or visit relatives abroad.

“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. This will protect the best interest of children since they will be safeguarded from any act that may constitute child trafficking,” Asst. Sec. Lopez explained.

The issuance of travel clearance for minors is specified under the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act and the Philippine Passport Act of 1996.

The DSWD Travel Clearance is a document issued by DSWD Field Offices (FO) or its attached agency, the National Authority on Child Care (NACC), whichever is applicable to a minor traveling abroad unaccompanied by any of the persons having parental authority and legal custody over the child.

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.

A child shall not be allowed to travel alone or be accompanied by any person other than the parent or legal guardian to a foreign country without a travel clearance issued by the DSWD.

The Department’s Omnibus Guidelines on Minors Traveling Abroad also states that only minors aged 13 years old and above are allowed to travel alone given that they are granted a travel clearance.

The travel clearance certificate may be obtained within three working days upon submission of complete documents, including a processing fee of Php 300 valid for one year or Php 600 for certificates valid for two years.

The clearance can be processed on-site in any DSWD Field Office within the jurisdiction of the minor’s area of residence. The complete list of requirements may be accessed through www.dswd.gov.ph/travel-clearance-for-minors/.

The DSWD Field Office National Capital Region has a newly-opened satellite office for securing travel clearance for minors traveling abroad located in SM City Manila.

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