More minors going abroad to visit OFW parents: DSWD

THE Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has monitored 967 minors in the Cordillera Administrative Region issued with clearance to travel abroad, 524 of which are issued for the purpose of visiting parents or relatives abroad.

Minors Travelling Abroad Focal Person Julie Balagot said that applications for travel clearance increased during the first semester of last year. "Since our applicants are mostly students, it is during this semester that they are having their school vacation. They are grabbing the opportunity to visit their parents abroad during the break," Balagot added.

Aside from this, top reasons of minors applying for clearance include travelling for leisure or tour and travelling to migrate with parents abroad.

Balagot further identified Hong Kong as the top destination of the minors monitored in 2012. Hong Kong is known to be among the top destinations for Overseas Filipino Workers.

Meanwhile, there are already 593 clearances issued for the first semester of 2013. Hong Kong remains as the top destination and visiting parents or relatives is still the main reason for travel.

The DSWD issues travel clearance to minors travelling abroad alone or with companions that are neither of their parents. However, children who will be travelling with one of their parents or their legal guardian are spared from availing the clearance. Minors who are also holding a valid pass or identification card that can prove their status of living abroad with parents will also be allowed to travel without a clearance from the DSWD.

Among the requirements in securing a travel clearance include duly accomplished application form, photo copy of the birth certificate or passport of minor, written consent of both parents, solo parent or legal guardian permitting the child to travel alone or with someone else, two colored passport size photos of the minor taken within the last 6 months, and a photocopy of which is applicable, marriage certificate of minor's parents, certificate of legal guardianship, solo parent identification card issued by the local social welfare and development office or death certificate of deceased parent of minor.

Application for travel clearance can be filed at the DSWD- Field Office Cordillera Administrative Region. However, the application form can be downloaded from www.dswd.gov.ph. A processing fee of P300 is required for the application. The travel clearance may be obtained within three working days from the DSWD field office where it was submitted, provided all requirements have been fulfilled.

For queries and concerns, applicants may visit the DSWD- Field Office at #40 North Drive, Baguio City (near NBI and BIR) or call (074) 444-3209. (PR)

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