We all know that our passport is among the most important documents we should possess when travelling abroad or working overseas. It is for such reasons that some employers use their authority to abuse their employee’s rights by taking hold of this document. And similarly, it is for the same reason that the Philippine Embassy overseas provides services related to this document, among others.
However, in cases other than lost or expired passports, the Department of Foreign Affairs has announced that it will be handling such matters in a different approach to protect the interest of those involved.
Pawned Passports Can Now be Replaced by DFA, but Only in Manila
Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong whose passports have been seized or confiscated during police raids or by loan sharks during the past few months can now get their passports replaced, but only through personally applying at the Department of Foreign Affairs Office in Manila, as shared in a report by the Sun.
The announcement was made by Consul Paul Saret, head of the Consulate’s assistance to nationals section last January 20, when he received complaints from applicants being turned away by the DFA.
According to Saret, the issue has been duly noted, saying that the process for this has already started since last week.
However, he also explained that applicants will only be allowed to secure their passport replacements by queuing at the OFW lane at the Office of Consular Affairs (OCA) in the Mall of Asia.
Upon filing their request, they will be asked to sign a declaration that they will never hock their passport again or risk forfeiting the right to get a new travel document in the future.
This is great news for those who have gotten into trouble with the law and in the process, lost their travel document overseas. Let it be a reminder that hocking one’s passport to loan sharks or for other similar purposes, puts one at risk for getting jailed or becoming an illegal immigrant wherever they reside.