In early January, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) will cancel and dispose of all unclaimed passports which had been scheduled for release before December 2020.

This is in accordance with DFA Department Order No. 2021-012 on the Disposal of Unclaimed and Spoiled Passports, said its Consular Office, adding that the cancellation will take effect on Jan. 10 next year.

The DFA said that Filipinos who have not yet claimed those passports may only do so until Jan. 7 at the Consular Office at which they were processed.

Those unable to claim their passports must file a new application after securing a certificate of unclaimed passport from DFA Aseana or their Consular Offices.

“Passports scheduled for release after December 2020 are not affected and may still be claimed from the DFA Consular Office where they were processed,” the department said.

While there is no penalty imposed for passports claimed at a later date, the public is encouraged to do so within 30 days from the passport’s scheduled release, said the DFA. Another person may be authorized to claim the passport on the applicant’s behalf. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan