• Pending cases, minors are grounds for passport denial

    Persida Acosta

    Persida Acosta

    Dear PAO,
    I am planning to apply for a passport in going to Hong Kong. Are there instances when an application for a passport is not granted?
    Mr. Santiago

    Dear Mr. Santiago,
    Section 2(d) of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 8239 or the Philippine Passport Act of 1996 defines passport as a document issued by the Philippine government to its citizens and requesting other governments to allow its citizens to pass safely and freely, and in case of need to give him/her all lawful aid and protection. It is a primary document used to an individual in the exercise of his right to travel outside the country.

    However, not all applications for the issuance of passport are granted. The Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) or any of the authorized consular officers in the interest of national security, public safety and public health, may, after due hearing and in their proper discretion, refuse to issue a passport, or restrict its use or withdraw or cancel a passport provided, however, that such act shall not mean a loss or doubt on the person’s citizenship: provided, further, that the issuance of a passport may not be denied if the safety and interest of the Filipino citizen is at stake: provided, finally, that refusal or cancellation of a passport would not prevent the issuance of a Travel Document to allow for a safe return journey by a Filipino to the Philippines (Section 4, R.A. No. 8239).

    Specifically, the grounds for the denial of the application of passports are enumerated in Section 8 of R.A. No. 8239, to wit:
    “Sec. 8. Grounds for Denial, Cancellation or Restrictions. — The application for passport may be denied, cancelled or restricted only on the following grounds:

    (a) Denial of Passport

    1. On orders of the court, after due notice and hearing, to hold the departure of an applicant because of a pending criminal case:

    2. When so requested by the natural or legal guardian, if the applicant is a minor;

    3. When the applicant has been found to have violated any of the provisions of this Act;

    4. Such other disqualification under existing laws.”

    We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts that you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.

    Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to dearpao@manilatimes.net


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