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DFA authentication services now available at Davao City office

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Eric P. Valenzuela, acting director of the authentication division of the Office of Consular Affairs in Davao City shows a sample copy of an apostille certificate during the launching of the authentication service on June 21. — BW/LEAN S. DAVAL JR.

THE DEPARTMENT of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has opened its first authentication center in Mindanao at the Davao City office. The authentication center corresponds with the implementation of the Apostille Convention in the Philippines signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte that aims to reduce the authentication process cycle by half. Previously, government-issued and various other documents could only be authenticated at the DFA office in Manila. “Imagine the situation for these people for their documents to be authenticated, they will have to go to Manila and the effort, the money… so we should bring this government service to the people,” Eric P. Valenzuela, acting director of the authentication division of the Office of Consular Affairs, said in an interview during last Friday’s opening ceremony. The Apostille Convention removes the requirement for authenticated documents to undergo another authentication by the embassy or consulate of the country of destination that is also a state party to the convention. The authentication, or apostillization, of any Philippine-issued document will be accepted in 113 Apostille Convention member countries such as the United States, Japan and Australia. Mr. Valenzuela said they receive a yearly average of about 800,000 documents nationwide and close to 700,000 documents abroad. He added that the number of documents to be authenticated is expected to increase with the roll out of the authentication services outside Luzon. Mr. Valenzuela also said they will eventually set up an “expedite processing” facility in DFA-Davao, which will process documents for only one working day instead of the regular four working days. This means documents will be processed and released on the same day provided there is a proof of urgency. — Maya M. Padillo









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