The Department of Foreign Affairs, more commonly known as DFA, is a national government agency that is responsible for the pursuit of foreign policy and the conduct of foreign relations in the country. Its primary objective is the protection of the state’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and national interest with respect to its promotion of the state’s active participation and involvement in fostering good relations with other nations.
The DFA is also the official executive arm of the Philippine government in international relations and is headed by the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, who is appointed by the President upon the start of their term. Together, the two officials plan, coordinate and evaluate the total national efforts of the state in the field of foreign affairs.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) of the Philippines is the executive department of the Philippine government responsible for the country’s participation in international relations.
The DFA is responsible for the protection of the rights and interests of Filipinos abroad and the promotion of the country’s image in the international community.
The DFA also promotes Philippine economic diplomacy by leading the country’s efforts to participate in global trade negotiations and to attract investment from overseas. In addition, the DFA provides consular services to Filipinos travelling abroad and assists in the repatriation of Filipino citizens in distress.
Programs and Services
DFA offers various programs and services to Filipinos living abroad and in the country, including but not limited to the following:
- Authentication of documents – Legalization of public documents for use in the Philippines through the Apostille
- Access of consular records – To be received and processed by the Office of Consular Affairs’ Consular Records Division (OCA-CRD) for the registration, review, or obtaining transmittal information of various reports of vital events involving Filipino citizens abroad:
- Report of Birth
- Report of Marriage
- Report of Death
- Passport application – The Philippine Passport is an official document and property of the Republic of the Philippines and thus, applications for such should be held with utmost accuracy. Any false representation or submission of false documents is illegal
- Visa application for foreigners – A Philippine visa endorses, via travel document, a foreign national’s request to enter the country via Philippine immigration authorities at the ports of entry, such as airports and seaports. However, the issuance of a Philippine visa does not guarantee a holder’s automatic entry to the country.
Note that due to the surge of COVID-19 cases in the country, all programs and services offered by the DFA are on a strict appointment basis. Meaning, applicants will have to secure an appointment online prior to visiting the office. Passport applications are also on an appointment basis, so applicants must first secure an appointment via website at www.passport.gov.ph
Attached Agencies of DFA
Here’s a list of attached agencies connected to the DFA office:
1. Foreign Service Institute (FSI)
The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) was established due to the passing of Presidential Decree No. 1060 on December 9, 1976, and the promulgation of the Republic Act No. 7157 or the Philippine Foreign Service Act.
It serves as the center of development and professionalization of the career corps of the DFA and other Philippine foreign service posts by conducting appropriate training programs, undertaking research and policy studies on international relations and foreign policy, and providing institutional support as needed by the DFA.
2. Technical Cooperation Council of the Philippines (TCCP)
The Technical Cooperation Council of the Philippines (TCCP) was brought about by the signing of Executive Order No. 17 by then President Fidel Ramos on September 1, 1992, to absorb the functions of the Technical Assistance Council and the Inter-Agency Technical Committee on Technical Cooperation Among Developing Countries.
Its primary responsibility is to formulate and execute a technical cooperation program that is relevant to the country’s commitment to the UN Resolution on Technical and Economic Cooperation Among Developing Countries (TCDC-ECDC). It also provides assistance in strengthening the competitiveness of the country in terms of socio-economic development through non-degree training courses.
3. UNESCO Philippine National Commission
The UNESCO Philippine National Commission, otherwise known as PH NatCom or UNACOM, was founded as a means of the country to honor its commitment to UNESCO. It was established to serve as an advisory and liaison body that shall bridge the work of relevant partners in the country to the respective educational, scientific, and cultural studies and activities as developed and managed by UNESCO.
Furthermore, the commission also participates in the dissemination of information of UNESCO’s projects, and the formulation of policy feedback.
Video: Getting a passport appointment at DFA Online
A brief guide on securing a slot at the DFA passport application website may be watched through this link:
Securing a slot for passport application is difficult for many Filipinos, mainly because of the high demand. However, the video mentioned above can help you get a slot in as quick as 15 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Please check out these FAQs about the DFA office:
1. What is DFA?
The Department of Foreign Affairs, more commonly known as DFA, is the executive department that is in charge of establishing, developing and maintaining a reputable disposition with other nations by promoting and preserving the country’s national identity, territorial integrity and sovereignty, while protecting the rights and welfare of Filipinos overseas as their mobile partners for national development.
2. What are the functions of the DFA?
The DFA advises and assists the President in the planning, development, organization, coordination, implementation, integration, and evaluation of the national government’s efforts in fostering strong, positive relations with other nations.
3. Does DFA accept walk-in applications?
As of now, the DFA does not accept walk-in applications. The Consular Section of the DFA – Office of Consular Affairs at Aseana Business Park, Parañaque City follows a daily operation schedule in providing its services until further notice:
- Authentication services – per appointment basis; Monday to Friday, 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
- Passport application – per appointment basis; Monday to Friday, 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
- Passport claiming – Monday to Friday, 8:00 AM to 12:00 NN
- Passport status inquiry and special concerns – maximum of 75 clients daily.
4. How do I apply for a passport at DFA?
To apply for a passport in DFA, secure an appointment slot at www.passport.gov.ph.
5. How long does it take to obtain a Philippine passport?
The Philippine passport is issued within 30-45 days if following a normal application, while it takes 7-14 days if the application was made through the Tatkaal scheme.
6. How long will the passport be valid?
The Philippine passport is valid for ten (10) years upon issuance, for Filipinos 18 years old and above, while five (5) years upon issuance for Filipinos under 18 years old. This is by virtue of Department Order No. 010-2017 or the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Republic Act. No. 10928.
7. When can I register for an authentic document of a vital event?
Generally, a vital event, such as a birth, marriage, or death, must first be reported at the Local Civil Registry of the city or municipality where it happened within thirty (30) days of the event for documentation. On the other hand, vital events that occurred overseas must be reported within twelve (12) months at the designated Foreign Service Post (Embassy or Consulate Office) that has the authority over the place of event.
8. What is an Apostille? How much does it cost, and how long does it take to get one?
An Apostille is a certification that authenticates the origin of a public document. It is given by countries that are a party to the Apostille Convention, which happened on October 5, 1961, and aimed to facilitate the legalization of use of public documents.
An Apostille costs PhP 100 through DFA-OCA ordinary processing, which is issued after three (3) working days. Meanwhile, for expedited processing, it costs PhP 200, to be released the following working day. However, due to workforce restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 surge, expedited document authentication processing has been temporarily suspended.
9. How can I contact a DFA office?
For inquiries on document authentication, civil registration, as well as visa and passport concerns, you may reach the DFA Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs (DFA-OUMWA) through the following emails:
- Authentication of Philippine-issued documents: email@example.com
- Civil registration (report of birth, marriage, or death): firstname.lastname@example.org
- Application of diplomatic or official passports: email@example.com
- Visa renewal for representatives of foreign missions or international organizations: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Other concerns and general inquiries: email@example.com
In conclusion, the DFA serves as the country’s bridge to the greater world by fostering and maintaining its reputable image for the promotion and protection of national identity, security and sovereignty among other nations, as well as providing Filipinos here and OFWs abroad with essential foreign service and travel programs that allow them to explore opportunities most beneficial for them and their loved ones.
Being one of the first government departments since the First Philippine Republic, the DFA was mandated to serve Filipinos on a global scale, and that is what they continue to fulfill through its regional and international consular offices.
For more information on DFA and its programs and services, you may visit their website at www.dfa.gov.ph or their official Facebook page at www.facebook.com/dfaphl. You may also contact DFA Main Office via hotlines:
- Authentication concerns: 0966 410 8465 (Globe) or 0967 307 3111 (Globe)
- Passport appointment: (02) 8234-3488
- Passport, authentication, and other inquiries: (02) 8651-9400
- Passport releasing: 0939 320 0569 (Smart)
- Visa concerns: 0955 852 3521 (Globe)
DFA Main Office is located at ASEANA Business Park, Pres. Diosdado Macapagal Blvd. cor. Bradco Ave., Brgy. Tambo, Parañaque City.
Please see the location of map of the main office of the Department of Foreign Affairs for your reference below: