If you’re a a well travelled person, your Philippine Passport has been your life. What you have in there are precious memories that you’ve gathered from your previous travels. For me, passport has been one of the valid identification cards that I frequently used. Though I am not a jet setter person but I’m planning to be in the near future. It’s just that I have an upcoming wedding so unnecessary expenses from travels are not in my priority list right now.
One fine Tuesday morning, I was about to go to work when I saw my passport lying on the floor. I immediately picked it up and saw a glaring water mark on the cover of it. I was thankful that the cover was thick and the water was unable to penetrate the entire booklet. I’ve inspected it page by page and saw nothing alarming. So I go ahead and left it in a safe place.
While I was driving, a small idea just hit me.
What will I do if my passport was soaked in the water and all the pages got wet? Will the Bureau of Immigration still accept it if I manage to dry it by ironing it? If not, should I need to reapply for one?
And since I’m stucked in a heavy load of traffic that day, I started writing this. Don’t worry, I was not harmed while writing this article. The traffic is so bad that day that I was able to draft this article.
Anyway, based on my research, Department of Foreign Affairs laid out some rules and criteria on how to determine if your Philippine Passport needs to be replaced. We’ll cover each one by one.
To let you know quickly, a damaged passports due for replacement are the passport that contains the following:
- A ripped cover
- Detached pages
- Gone through a washing machine or recovered from a flooded house
- Bear bites marks (by your dog or cat)
- Crumpled but without tears
- Has obvious food or drink stains
- Burnt edges
A ripped cover
The cover of your passport is designed to be thick to protect the entire booklet. If you see your passport to have a “ripped cover”, then this is the right time to schedule a visit with the Department of Foreign Affairs for the replacement of your passport.
Passport pages are very important part of the passport. Its where the proof of your travels are placed. If you are the Immigration officer and a traveller hands you a passport with several pages detached on it, would you be glad to allow him/her the entry to your country?
I don’t know if this is part of their “Immigration Inspection” but If I were the Immigration officer, I won’t hesitate to deny you the entry because of the unpresentable passport. Who knows, it may be falsified document or the detached pages was snatched from another passport? Who knows?
So to avoid any worst case scenario in the future, once you saw your passport having several detached pages, don’t hesitate to reapply for one. Especially if you’re scheduled to travel.
Gone through a washing machine or recovered from a flooded house
I’m a bit hesitant to explain this. But for the sake of those people who needs justification, i will.
If your Philippine Passport was accidentally gone through the washing machine together with your clothes, I am 100% sure that it got wet. Plus the pages will contain stains from the colors of your laundry making it look like shit. It’s also possible that the personal details of you are already faded due to the strong laundry chemicals mixed with water. To summarize, No. you can’t use that passport! You should apply for a replacement.
Flood water is much worse. First, its dirty. Second, there are muds, sands and unknown elements present in the flood water. If I would be an Immigration officer for a day and a traveller handed me his passport that looks like it was covered with mud and recovered from flood, I will instantly throw it in the trash and deny him/her the entrance to the country. Hell, i might call the security because it irritates me seeing that piece of crap. 🙂
Bears bite marks (by your dog or cat)
Bear bite marks of your pet dog or cat is also not tolerable. I guess Immigrations around the world are very strict on the presentation of your Passport. So to make sure to avoids having this problems, refrain from storing your passport in a room where your pets has an access on it.
Your pets are uncontrollable, accept that. You can’t control them what to do from time to time. So to avoid having this problem, its best that you keep your Philippine passport in a safe place where they can’t reach or open it.
Crumpled but without tears
You might argue with me with this but having a crumpled page in your passport is also unacceptable and bound for replacement. Even if you say that it has no tears on the pages.
Again, you can argue with the Immigration officer about the reasons why it was crumpled. But would you stress yourself with that? Would you reason out with the person who has the power to deny you the entry to a certain country if he or she doesn’t like your tone?
You may find it funny but for me, I would rather spent an extra bucks to reapply for a replacement of my passport than to reason out or have an argument with the Immigration Officer. My stress level from my work is too high already. I don’t want to add more. I’m using my passport to travel for vacation and my relaxation. I don’t one to remember that one day, in one of my travels, I asked the mercy of the Immigration Officer to let me pass.
See the logic there?
Has obvious food or drink stains
This ones obviously a clear reason to have replace your passport.
Obviously, this one is the result of carelessness. You might say that “it was an accident” but would it be possible if your Philippine passport was not around while you’re eating?
If you accidentally stained your passport pages with your food, try to clean it all out. If its gone then you don’t have a problem. But if not, then you have.
Same with the flooded passport, the stained pages of your passport is not acceptable. A clean and tidy passport is what you need, the dirty one doesn’t deserve you so do the right thing. Replace it!
We have reached the last item from our list, hooray!
Burnt edges of your passport is another result of carelessness. I can think of many reasons why a Philippine passport and a fire are present in one place where the other one harms or burns the another.
Maybe you’re smoking, passport on the right hand and lighter on the left? You’re in a camp fire and you’re showing off? Or maybe, you’re cooking!
Look, there are millions of reasons to justify the incident but what matter here is it won’t justify your reason why you didn’t apply for a replacement.
How To Request for a Replacement of Your Damaged Philippine Passport
Here are the things that you need to do to be able to request for a replacement.
1. Submit a Notarized Affidavit of Mutilation.
2. Write a detailed explanation on details how the passport got mutilated or damaged. This includes the when, where and the how.
3. Submit the Original and photocopy of the first and last pages of mutilated or damaged passport.
According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, there will be a Fifteen (15) day clearing period before the processing of your application for the replacement. This means that it will take time so don’t get mad with the Government if you didn’t get your passport in time.
Looking back in our discussion, I just realized that the root cause of damage passport is carelessness. Our passport (like I said) is a very important document. Aside from its expensive, application of the passport is not that easy. You have to wait in line and wait for it to be delivered in your home address before you get your hands on it. So please take care of it. Keep it inside your vaults (if vaults are available in your homes) or keep it in your personal cabinet or drawers with locks.
So what are you waiting for? If you determined that your Passport is damaged or mutilated, then schedule a passport appointment immediately and apply for a new one!