MANILA – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has opened its first authentication center in Cebu, bringing government service closer to Filipinos in the Visayas.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. led the inauguration ceremony at Pacific Mall Mandaue on Tuesday.
“Before today, Filipinos from the Visayas needed to travel to Manila to have their documents authenticated by the DFA. They are usually OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) whose work or livelihood abroad rests on a piece of paper that needs authentication. For too long, they have spent considerable time, money and effort to avail of a simple government service,” Locsin said.
Locsin said the authentication center in Cebu for the Visayas completes the nationwide rollout of DFA’s authentication services following the opening of the first center in Mindanao at the Davao Consular Office last June.
The opening of Cebu’s authentication center comes in the heels of the country’s accession to the Apostille Convention, which shortens the authentication process for applicants.
“Thanks to President Duterte who signed the Instrument of Accession to the Apostille Convention, the authentication process for public documents has been cut by half," Locsin said.
He said if the document is to be used in a foreign country which is among 117 members of the Apostille Convention, it would not require another authentication in the said country's embassy or consulate in the Philippines.
"This means less aggravation and less cost for the millions of Filipinos who rely on the cross-border exchange of public documents for work, study and business,” Locsin explained.
The DFA’s Consular Office in Cebu is the eighth consular office to offer authentication services. The Department aims to open more authentication centers across the Philippines in the coming months.
The Consular Office in Cebu will accept applications for authentication from Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Scheduling an appointment is not necessary, the DFA said.