Post­card Pretty of­fers tips on deal­ing with pass­port loss

Sun.Star Cebu Weekend - - Contents - Rachel Arandilla

LOS­ING a pass­port is one of the most stress­ful things that could hap­pen to a trav­eler, es­pe­cially when abroad. In fact, it is also one of my big­gest fears (gasp!) — I can imag­ine the headache and the has­sle you have to go through, as well as the change of plans and ex­penses you will in­cur. Los­ing a pass­port is not very fun.

Even if you haven’t lost your pass­port, some pre­pared­ness and knowl­edge will come in handy in case the event arises (we hope it won’t!). This will help di­min­ish stress lev­els. Read on if you want to know what to do in the case that you, or a loved one, lose a Philip­pine pass­port.

First, how NOT to lose your pass­port

First of all, let’s talk about de­ter­rents — how NOT to lose your pass­port. Your pass­port should be the first and last thing you check when leav­ing or ar­riv­ing at all times.

Most ho­tels have safe boxes — use them. Leave your valu­ables and pass­port when not needed. You’re less likely to lose your pass­port if you kept it safely locked in your ho­tel room than bring it with you ev­ery­where. I don’t carry my pass­port un­less I have rea­son to.

Granted, there are coun­tries that do re­quire manda­tory iden­ti­fi­ca­tion checks. If you do choose to carry it around when tour­ing, just make sure you’re wary of your valu­ables and keep your hand­bag close to you at all times. Also, car­ry­ing a pass­port when club­bing is a bad idea.

Fi­nally, al­ways bring a pho­to­copy of your pass­port when trav­el­ing. Leave a copy to trusted fam­ily and friends too, or even keep a dig­i­tal ver­sion of your pass­port so you can eas­ily print it when the need arises.

Los­ing your Philip­pine Pass­port at home

If you al­ready lost all hope and re­sign to the fact that you have in­deed lost your pass­port, you need to file an Af­fi­davit of Loss and a Po­lice Re­port. Get the Af­fi­davit of Loss from a lawyer, where you will have to state all the de­tails on how you lost your pass­port: when, where, how, etc. This doc­u­ment must be no­ta­rized.

For the Po­lice Re­port, go to the near­est po­lice sta­tion that cov­ers the area where you lost your pass­port. Even if you lost your pass­port by sheer care­less­ness and not through crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity like theft or ar­son (hey, it can hap­pen), you still need to file a po­lice re­port.

Apart from these two req­ui­sites, you need the usual doc­u­ments to pass­port ap­pli­ca­tion: your NSO birth cer­tifi­cate, valid gov­ern­ment-is­sued ID, etc. Just go through the same process of ap­ply­ing for

or re­new­ing a pass­port, just pay an ad­di­tional Lost Pass­port fee of P200.

Los­ing your pass­port abroad

If you lose your pass­port while trav­el­ing abroad, it doesn’t mean that you’re stuck there for­ever. How­ever, you need to act fast. The first thing you need to do is to file a Po­lice Re­port. You’ll also need the po­lice re­port for travel in­sur­ance claims and dec­la­ra­tion of lost pass­port. Im­me­di­ate ac­tion will also pre­vent any­one from us­ing your pass­port il­le­gally.

The next step is to lo­cate and con­tact the near­est em­bassy or con­sulate. You need to make a per­sonal ap­pear­ance, so book an ap­point­ment (as walk-ins are gen­er­ally not al­lowed). The Philip­pine em­bassy or con­sulate or nor­mally avail­able for ap­point­ment on week­day morn­ings, so let’s hope you didn’t lose your pass­port over the week­end!

Bring your po­lice re­port, pass­port pho­tos, itin­er­ary, flight de­tails and proof of cit­i­zen­ship.You will need to pay some fees in cash and should be able to get your tem­po­rary pass­port within 24 hours. The em­bassy or con­sulate can ei­ther give you a re­place­ment pass­port that will al­low you to fin­ish your trip or an emer­gency travel doc­u­ment that will get you back home ASAP.

(PHOTO BY NSV)

MAK­ING CON­TACT. When trav­el­ing abroad, it helps to know where the Philip­pine em­bassy or con­sulate is lo­cated. Keep con­tact num­bers handy, in case you need to book an ap­point­ment, say, to re­port a lost pass­port. Like most gov­ern­ment of­fices, em­bassies and con­sulates are closed on Satur­days and Sun­days.

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