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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

DFA authentication (Red ribbon) of public and personal documents

My sister is getting married in church on December. Since she and her husband are both working abroad, I do some of the paperworks for her. One of the required documents that they have to submit on church is the NSO autheticated birth certificate. However, she found out that the name in the birth certificate is misspelled. So what we did was to produce an Affidavit of Discrepancy and then had it notarized. But this doesn't end there. I just found out that correcting this simple erroneous thing is very tedious.

Is it too much to ask for these government workers to strive for efficiency? I bet they don't know that their errors costs a lot of wasted money, time and effort on the part of the victim. Anyway, my friend's sister who I think is a lawyer told her that she needs her birth certificate to be authenticated by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). This authetication is referred to as "red ribbon". This is the first time I heard it so I did a little research. I went to the site of DFA and looked for the citizen services. This is what I found out :

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) performs its authentication function/services in the context of 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. Given the existence of a multi-state system, aforesaid Convention stipulates that, among other things, the various kind of documents sourced from particular sovereign states (e.g. public documents, private documents, and commercial documents) shall have validity or operative effect in another sovereign state's legal jurisdiction after subjected to an agreed upon authentication procedure.

The DFA through the Authentication Division-Office of Consular Affairs may authenticate an act, deed documents etc. executed or sourced within Philippine legal jurisdiction by way of certifying said act...... When these acts, deeds or documents have been duly authenticated by the Department, the receiving embassies or consulates or any other foreign legal entities are, in effect assured that aforesaid documents are in order or have been legalized in accordance with proper procedure.

So what is the purpose of this procedure? The only reason that makes sense is that DFA authenticates the public/official documents to prove that your documents are legal which is ONLY REQUIRED in some foreign countries.

The DFA authentication attest to the genuineness of the signature appearing on the attached certification for the purpose of identifying a specific document and giving credence to the official acts of the notary public or certifying officer thereon for use, if and when required, as instrument of evidence in foreign countries. As such, the DFA certification/authentication does not, per se, authenticate the validity/efficacy/enforceability of the basic document itself...

Further to this, DFA states that :

Foreign Embassies, Consulates and foreign legal entities may or may not require the authentication of documents sourced from the Philippines for use within their respective jurisdictions. However, under rules of reciprocity in international relations, sovereign states normally require authentication of foreign documents to be used.

The next question will be : How much will it cost you to have your document authenticated by DFA? If you go directly to DFA it will only cost you Php 150.00 and you can get it in less than 4 days. However, please be advised that the counter for the red-ribbon documents are from 8am to 12nn only. If you want to avoid the crowd and you have plenty of time and money to spend then you can course it through an agency. It will cost you around Php 750.00 and you can get your authenticated document in less than 10 days.

Here are some important announcements that DFA issued to the public:

1. All applications should be made in person by the applicant except under certain circumstances (e.g. documents filed by his/her immediate kin);
2. Application fee must be paid within 24 otherwise it shall be disposed;
3. Unclaimed documents after three months from the date of release will be disposed.

Here is a list of public/Official documents and the corresponding authenticating government agencies. Note that the list of said agencies are in consecutive order meaning you should follow the sequence of the agencies listed that you have to go to.

A. Birth Certificate/Death Certificate, Marriage Contract {Local Civil Registry copy (for not readable, BC, MC, DC) - 1. NSO 2. DFA
B. Certification of Non-Marriage Record (from NSO - Valid only for six months upon issue of document) - 1. NSO 2. DFA
C. Certificate of Muslim Tribal Affiliation/Certificate of Conversion to Islam - 1. OMA 2. Shari’a Court 3. NSO 4.DFA
D. Police Clearances - 1. PNP (Signed by Chief of Police issued in various police stations nationwide, usually by the police precinct which has jurisdiction over the barangay.) 2. DFA
E. NBI Clearances - 1. NBI 2. DFA
F. LTO Certificate/Driver’s License - 1. LTO (Main Office, Quezon City) 2. DFA
G. Report of Rating/Certificate of Registration/Certification of Good Standing/Professional License - 1. PRC 2. DFA
H. Community Tax Certificate - 1. City Treasurer’s Office 2. DFA
I. Barangay Certification/Mayor’s Certification/Barangay Clearances - 1. Barangay Chairman 2. Mayor 3. DFA
J. Voter’s ID/Certificate - 1. COMELEC Manila 2. DFA
K. Travel Clearance of a Filipino Minor without Accompanying Parents - 1. DSWD 2. DFA
J. Alien Certificate of Registration/Immigrant/Native-Born Residence Certificate - 1. Bureau of Immigration 2. DFA


A.1 College Diploma and Transcript of Records (Collegiate Level)/College Diploma and Transcript of Records (For State Colleges and University)/(Use 1 & 3 CAV signed by the University Registrar)/Special Order Certificate of Enrollment/Report of Grades/Certification of Graduation - 1. School 2. CHED (depending on the region) 3. DFA

A.2 Secondary/Elementary Diploma and Form 137-A, Special Order Certification of Graduation/Certificate of Enrollment/Report of Grades - 1. School 2. DEPED (depending on the region) 3. DFA

A.3 Diploma on Technical and Skills Development Courses/Transcript of Records/Certificate of Enrollment/Report of Grades/Certification of Graduation - 1. School 2. TESDA (depending on the region) 3. DFA

B.1 Medical Certificate/AIDS-Free Certificate - 1. Clinic/Hospital 2. DOH-BLR 3. DFA
B.2. AFFIDAVITS : Employment Certificates/Job Description/Training Certificates/Agreement/Contract/Affidavit of Support and Guaranty/Affidavit of Parental Consent/Single Status/Affidavit of Loss/Special Power of Attorney/GOSI Forms
Doctor’s Affidavit - 1. Notary Public 2. Regional Trial Court 3. DFA
B.3 Court Decision/Court Order/Resolution - 1. Certified true copies of the decision, resolution or order (Regional Trial Court) 2. Certification from the Office of Court Administrator (Supreme Court) 3. DFA

C. COMMERCIAL & EXPORT DOCUMENTS : Certificate of Origin/Commercial Invoice
Bill of Lading/Air Way Bill/Shipping Agent’s Certificate/Quarantine Clearance Certificate/Weight Certification/Weight Liqht/Manufacturer’s Certificate
Beneficiary Certificate Commodity Clearance/Insurance Certification For Certificates of Origin issued by the Bureau of Customs - 1. Bureau of Customs 2. DFA, Otherwise, and for all other documents: a. PCCI b. DFA

D. FOREIGN DOCUMENTS - 1. Philippine Embassy/Consulate in the country from where the document originated or by the said country’s Embassy or Consulate General based in the Philippines 2. DFA


Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)
Authentication Division,
Office of Consular Affairs,
Department of Foreign Affairs
South wing Lobby, 2330 Roxas Blvd., Pasay City, Metro Manila
Tel. No. 834-4000
Authentication fee: P100.00
Processing period: Five (5) working days

Department of Education, Culture and Sports-National Capital Region
Misamis St., Bago Bantay,
Quezon City
Tel. No. 921-5630
Authentication fee: P30.00
Processing period: Five (5) working days

Authentication Unit, Legal Office, Office of the President, Malacañang
1610 J.P. Laurel St., Watson Building, Malacañang , San Miguel, Manila
Tel. No. 733-36-03
Authentication fee: P50.00
Processing period: One (1) working day

Department of Health - Bureau of Licensing and Regulation (DOH-BLR)
San Lazaro Compound, Rizal Avenue, Sta. Cruz, Manila / Tel. No. 711-6982
Authentication fee: P10.00
Processing period: Two (2) working days

Commission on Higher Education-National Capital Region (CHED-NCR)
6th floor, Pacific Corporate Center,
131 West Avenue, Quezon City
Tel. No. 373-5551 to 53
Authentication fee: P40.00
Processing period: Five (5) working days

Department of Social Welfare and Development-National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR)
San Rafael St., Legarda, Manila
Tel. No. 734-8637
No fee for Travel Clearance
Processing period: Five (5) working days

Intramuros, Manila

Land Transportation Office (LTO)
East Avenue, Quezon City
Tel. No. 926-7081
Authentication fee: P30.00
Processing period: Three (3) to four (4) working days

National Statistics Office

Filing: East Avenue, Quezon City (in front of Social Security System (SSS) building)
Tel. No. 927-8672
NSO Hotline Plus (Teleserv):737-1111
Releasing: Vibal Building, EDSA cor. Times St., West Triangle, Quezon City Authentication fee/Processing Period:
P25.00 for birth, marriage and death certificates/Average of Seven (7)days
P25.00 for Certificates of Conversion to Islam
P80 for Certification of No Marriage Record/Average of Fifteen (15) days

Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI)
14th Floor, Multinational Bank Corporation Center
6805 Ayala Avenue, Makati City
Tel.No. 843-3374 / 843-3176
Certification/Authentication fee:
< $10,000 bracket: P250 for non-members, P100 for members
$10,000 to $20,000 bracket: P300 for non-members, P125 for members
Released on the same day

National Bureau of Investigation
Taft Ave., Ermita, Manila
Tel. No. 551-0249
Authentication fee: P100.00
Processing period: Three (3) to four (4) working days

Office of Muslim Affairs (OMA)
Ablaza Bldg., 117 E. Rodriguez Ave., 1102 Quezon City
Tel. No. 742-2711 to 16
Authentication fee:
P10.00 for documentary stamp
P10.00 for lamination
Processing period:Fifteen (15) working days

Professional Regulations Commission (PRC)
P. Paredes, Sampaloc, Manila
Tel. No. 735-4671 to 74
Authentication fee: P50.00
No fixed processing time

Regional Trial Court having jurisdiction over the area where Notary Public holds office/where affidavit was notarized (e.g. RTC of Manila, RTC of Pasay etc.)


TESDA Complex, East Service Road, South Superhighway, Taguig, M. Mla.
Tel. No. 815-3343
Authentication fee: P30.00
No fixed processing time


workhard said...

This is very informative. True how a simple error can take a long procedure to get fixed


AMIT said...

This is really a good detailed post.

Legal forum

Surya said...

Hi,Can you please advise me that the authentication of marriage certificate process can be done thru DFA davao?As my our wedding has performed in P.Roxas and NSO certificate issued.But its Red ribbon process not done.Here in Kuwait they need the DFA manila authentication.Thanks to advise in this regards.


Anonymous said...

Very informative! Thank u so much!

Anonymous said...

Wide Wide World Express also known as WWWExpress is the official courier of Department of Foreign Affair (DFA).
Anywhere in the Philippines or even abroad they can assist you throughout DFA Authentication.

You may visit any of their offices nationwide or call at 8798888 or email at marketing@wwwexpress.com.ph

I hope this will help you...

Anonymous said...

Thank your for this informative post! Because of this I was no astray - jaedz

Anonymous said...

Thank your for this informative post! Because of this I was not astray - jaedz

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Hi! I need to get my NSO birth certificate legalized with a red ribbon by the DFA, but need to authorize someone to do so because I live in the states and cannot make a physical appearance. Are there legitimate / valid and reputable local agencies there that can do this type of service? (i.e. hire them to go through the process)

Hunny's Hobbies said...

I have a question about the documentary stamp. DO we still need to paste a documentary stamp in the authenticated paper or is it already there?

Anonymous said...

Man, you don't just how much weight has been lifted off my chest. i knew that there were a lot of things to be done for these red ribbon certifications but not knowing what to do first and where to go adds up to just how overwhelmingly confusing and jarring this task is..Thanks in millions!!

maricel said...

Wonderful and very informative blog I have ever read. I am now about to begin to process my documents because me and my daughter will be off to Qatar soon with my husband. Indeed this article is a big help for me. Thank you very much blogger!
A 1,000,000 THANKS again! :)

Anonymous said...

This is great! I need to do this for my scholarship. Your post is so helpful! THank you so much! More power!

kailey cai said...

ang mga documents po ba na papa red ribbon dapat po ba bagong issue kasi po ang TOR ko nkuha ko n last 3 years mag papa red ribbon po ako dapat po ba bago?kasi ang nabasa ko po sa ibabg forrum dapat 3mo. old ang doc. totoo npo ba?

Anonymous said...

hello ask ko lan po kung pede mas earlier makuha un tor diploma s release of date n nakasulat s stub ng ched. cnu po kaya ang local agency n pede ko contakin dito.thanks

Anonymous said...

Dfa is a big shit..they make u go round and round

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

DFA RED RIBBON (Authentication) negosyo ng gobyerno malaking abala at perwesyo sa mga aplikante dapat ipatigil na yan... bwesit kayo..

Anonymous said...

ahmm i am here in mindanao. i had my documents red ribboned here and want to claim it in dfa pasay.. would it be ok to claim it not on the exact date of release?? any reply will be much appreciated !! thanks!!!!

Anonymous said...

Very informative thanks for sharing to us your blog.
Actually you gave me an idea about the DFA fees. The only thing I need to know if my documents will be brought to Saudi Embassy for authentication...how much will it cost?

Anonymous said...

I found this blog very informative, and kudos for the background music, really love reading all the comments while listening the music.. :D

James Andrew said...

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Anonymous said...

hi may I ask, i already got my authentication for my cenomar and birth certificate, but the problem is my name in the red ribbon was wrong.. i think it is typographical error... what should i do? i am going to bring it back to DFA? do i have to pay again for this,,,
please anyone here knows wat to do?