Dual citizens don’t need PH passports to leave country

Philippine dual citizens are not required to present a Philippine passport when leaving the country, contrary to a claim of the Philippine consulate general in New York and the impression created by Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.

Dual citizens need to only present their foreign passport with a dual certificate, order of approval and oath of allegiance in lieu of a Philippine passport, the Bureau of Immigration said.

The three documents are issued by the Bureau of Immigration to Filipinos who reacquire or retain their Philippine citizenship and become dual citizens under Republic Act 9225, the Citizenship Retention and Re-acquisition Act of 2003.

In Advisory No. 30 issued on Oct. 22, the Philippine consulate in New York announced that:

(T)he “Bureau of Immigration requires the presentation of Philippine Passports before exiting the Philippines.

In a Nov. 20 tweet, Locsin, answering Twitter user @ye_raj, a dual citizen from the U.S. who asked if the consulate’s advisory is true, said:

Of course you need a passport to get out; I do. I’d be surprised if you didn’t. You do not want to go around without a Philippine passport.

@ye_raj’s full name was omitted from this article upon his request.

Before he wrote Locsin, @ye_raj had already messaged the Bureau of Immigration through its Facebook page and was informed that there is no need to present a Philippine passport so long as the dual citizen shows a dual certificate or identification certificate issued through RA 9225.

Yoly Nacion from the Bureau of Immigration’s Dual Citizenship Office said in a phone interview on Nov. 24 that it is not a requirement for dual citizens exiting the country to present a Philippine passport. She said:

Hindi po need i-present ang Philippine passport. Ang kailangan lang po nilang i-present ay ang travel documents na dual certificate, order of approval and oath of allegiance (They don’t need to present a Philippine passport. What they only need to present are these travel documents: dual certificate, order of approval and oath of allegiance).

A foreign passport along with the three documents is enough for dual citizens to depart the country, she said.

This clarification was reiterated by the Port Operations Division of the Bureau of Immigration in a Nov. 24 email. It said:

Please be informed that you may be allowed to travel out of the country with your foreign passport and Identification Certificate as Filipino citizen, subject to primary inspection by the immigration officer.

The Bureau of Immigration’s 2019 Citizen’s Charter does not specify that a dual citizen with a foreign passport must present their Philippine passport upon departure from the country.

Twitter user @ye_raj pointed out that only the Philippine consulate in New York issued an advisory on the supposed requirement to present a Philippine passport when departing the Philippines.

The consulate’s advisory said, however, it is “not mandatory” for dual citizens to present a Philippine passport when entering the country.

A 2018 primer of the Commission on Filipino Overseas said RA 9225 does not require Filipinos who reacquire their citizenship to apply for a Philippine passport, but strongly recommends that they do so. It said:

A passport serves as evidence of citizenship and is easier to carry around than other Identification Certificates. Also, a Philippine passport would make it easier to travel to and from the Philippines. The Philippine passport can be presented together with the other passport in the Philippines, to exempt an individual from paying Immigration fees.

Filipinos naturalized as citizens of another country are prohibited from using their Philippine passports under the Philippine Passport Act. When they reacquire Philippine citizenship under RA 9225, they should apply for a new Philippine passport should they want one, not have their previous one renewed. (MCQ)


Bureau of Immigration. (n.d.). Travel requirements. Retrieved from https://immigration.gov.ph/faqs/travel-req

Bureau of Immigration. (n.d.). Emigration clearance certificate (ECC). Retrieved from https://www.immigration.gov.ph/faqs/emigration-clearance-certificate-ecc

Bureau of Immigration. (n.d.). Extension of authorized stay beyond 59 days. Retrieved from http://www.immigration.gov.ph/visa-requirements/non-immigrant-visa/temporary-visitor-visa/extension-of-authorized-stay-beyond-59-days

Cane, P & Conaghan, J (2008). The New Oxford Companion to Law. London: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199290543.

Locsin, T. [@teddyboylocsin]. (2020, November 20). Of course, you need a passport to get out; I do. I'd be surprised if you didn't. You do not want to go around without a Philippine passport [Tweet]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/teddyboylocsin/status/1329716306065518592

Morente, J. H. (2019, December). Citizen's Charter (2019 ed.) [PDF]. Manila: Bureau of Immigration Philippines.

Philippine Consulate General of New York. (2020, October 23). Advisory No. 30: Dual citizens who are visiting the Philippines required to present Philippine passports before exiting the Philippines. Retrieved from https://newyorkpcg.org/pcgny/2020/10/23/advisory-no-30-dual-citizens-who-are-visiting-the-philippines-required-to-present-philippine-passports-before-exiting-the-philippines/

Pimentel-Naik, A. (2018). Primer on Philippine Dual Citizenship Act (RA 9225) (2018 ed.) [PDF]. Manila: Commission of Filipinos Overseas.

Republic Act No. 8239: GOVPH. (1996, November 22). Philippine Passport Act of 1996. Retrieved from https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/1996/11/22/republic-act-no-8239/

Republic Act No. 9225: GOV PH. (2003, August 29). Citizenship Retention and Re-acquisition Act of 2003. Retrieved from https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/2003/08/29/republic-act-no-9225/

Raj [@ye_raj]. (2020, November 19). @teddyboylocsin @dododulay @DFAPHL @immigrationPH Hi Sec. Locsin. Is this advisory on New York's website true? Other consulates seems to say otherwise and also Bureau of Immigration. Please confirm [Tweet]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/ye_raj/status/1329340283255877633