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Red-ribbon documents are now of the past.

Starting May 14, 2019, the Philippine Government will now accept apostilled documents as a replacement for legalization or consular authentication with the Philippine Embassy.

The Philippines has now officially consented to the Apostille Convention. Beginning this date, the Philippines joins other member-countries to the Hague Convention.

This means that if a person requires to use, in another country, a public document issued in the Philippines, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) will now issue an apostille if the foreign country is a member of the Apostille Convention.

In contrary, if a person needs to use a foreign document issued abroad, the person will only get the document apostilled (or apostilled) by the government where the document was issued.  Automatically, the apostilled (or apostilled) document may now be used in the Philippines.

The purpose of an apostille is comparable to a red-ribbon consular authentication. The Apostille Convention, an apostille certifies “the authenticity of the signature, the capacity in which the person signing the document has acted and, where appropriate, the identity of the seal or stamp which it bears”.

It is different from consular authentication because the apostille is issued by the government of the country where the document was issued. It is the government administration that verifies and certifies that the document is genuine.

On the other hand, for legalization or consular authentication, it is the consulate or embassy that consulates or authenticates the document.

Those who are familiar with securing consular authentication are well-aware of the struggles and difficulties. The time and cost, not to mention the queues and COVID situations, travel, and the limitations of the various embassies and consulates are only a few of the many issues faced in getting a document consularized.

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