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Authentication hub opens in Davao

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THE Department of Foreign Affairs opens on Friday, June 21, an authentication center in Davao City, the first center outside Luzon.

Located within DFA’s Mindanao and Consular Office at the 3rd floor of SM City Davao, the center scraps the inconvenience of Mindanaons to travel to Manila to have their documents authenticated.

Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Civil Security and Consular Concerns Brigido DJ Dulay said in his speech during the inauguration ceremony that the roll-out of the authentication services in Davao is a testament of the Duterte administration’s commitment to an efficient and responsive frontline services to the public.

Acting director of the Authentication Division Office Consular Affairs Eric P. Valenzuela told reporters that DFA receive around 1.5 million documents for authentication both here and abroad – for the overseas Filipinos - in a year.

He added that one of their problems is the unclaimed authenticated documents from Mindanao.

“Before, there are a lot of Mindanao documents unclaimed in our Manila office maybe because they don’t have the time or money - or both to claim it. Hopefully with this development (opening of Davao authentication center), this situation will no longer be an issue,” he said.

Anyone who wish their documents for work, study, and/or business to be authenticated by DFA, regular processing costs P100 per document. Claiming of authenticated documents varies. For those who secured a proof of urgency or are under meritorious cases, an expedited processing will be applied where one can claim the document/s the following day.

At present, DFA has six authentication centers – four in Manila, one in Pampanga, and one in Davao City.

“But we are still opening more centers in other parts of the country. The goal is to bring this crucial government service closer to the public. We will open one in Cebu and one in Luzon very soon,” Valenzuela said.

Apostille Convention

The Davao authentication center also features the Apostille Convention.

Dulay explained that the Apostille Convention removes the need 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.

“With Apostille, the authentication process will be cut into half. Filipinos who wish their authenticated documents no longer need to go to the Embassy or Consulate of the country where they intend to present or use their documents,” Dulay said.

The authentication of Philippine-issued documents alone, he said, will be accepted in 113 Apostille Convention member countries. It ‘apostillization’ process comes without the red satin ribbon.

“This establishes conditions more conducive to foreign investments as well as raising the country’s competitiveness,” the undersecretary said.

The DFA Authentication Center-Davao accepts applications for authentication Mondays to Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Scheduling of appointments is not necessary.