Minors traveling abroad need to secure clearance from DSWD

April 30, 2015 7:01 am 

BAGUIO CITY, April 29 -– The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is requiring children who are traveling abroad alone or with companion other than their parents to secure a travel clearance from the DSWD before applying for children’s passport in the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

Parents or the legal guardians of the children will have to submit documents – birth certificate of the child, affidavit of support and consent, passport sized pictures of the child and a copy of the passport of the traveling companion, to name a few to ensure that the travel to be undertaken is favorable to the minor’s safety and well-being.

An assigned social worker assesses the documents and recommends the approval or disapproval of the request for a travel clearance.

“Aside from being a requirement of the DFA, securing a travel clearance shall protect the children from the threat of human trafficking,” DSWD-Cordillera Regional Minors Travelling Abroad Section (MTA) Focal Person Julie Balagot said Wednesday.

Human trafficking is an act of recruitment, transportation, transfer, or receipt of persons by means of threat or coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power, or compensation, with or without the consent of the person for the purpose of exploitation.

Balagot said applicants must secure all necessary documents when filing for a travel clearance to facilitate the process.

“The processing and release of travel clearance usually takes 3-5 days, but due to incomplete documents, some applications may take longer.

So, we encourage our clients to complete the necessary documents before filing”, Balagot said.

Application for a travel clearance can be filed at the DSWD-CAR or in the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Offices (PSWDOs) in their areas.

DSWD–CAR for the first quarter of 2015, already issued 237 travel clearances for minors.

The purpose of travel is mostly to visit or to have vacation with parents or relatives and travel or leisure.

Hong Kong was the top destination for traveling minors. (PNA)



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