[ADVISORY] DFA No Longer Uses Red Ribbon on Philippine Documents

Last May, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has announced that they will no longer use a red satin (red ribbon) to earmark publicly certified documents issued from the Philippines.

Instead, as part of the authorization protocol, government agencies concerned overseas will affix an “Apostille” on these documents, specifically within countries that are a party to the Apostille Convention. Don’t worry, though! This is not a big change or an entirely new process that will adopt a new system for certifying documents in foreign government posts – there just won’t be any “red ribbon” affixed on your documents.

[ADVISORY] DFA No Longer Uses Red Ribbon on Philippine Documents
Credits: DFA

DFA Scraps Use of Red Satin Ribbons on PH Documents, Uses Apostille Instead

Furthermore, aside from the non-use of “red ribbons”, an “Apostille” will be seen on Philippine documents certified in Apostille-party nations, which, unfortunately, Malaysia is not. More on this below…

Since May 14, the Philippines have become a party to the Apostille Convention, along with other countries from around the world. Along with this, Philippine documents that are to be used overseas will no longer be affixed with a red ribbon.

The Apostille is a document marker similar to what the red satin ribbon was used for in the past – to certify and authenticate public documents issued by Philippine agencies in foreign posts. Basically, the Apostille certifies the authenticity of the signature of the person or seal of authority fixed on the document.

In line with this, the Apostille applies to all documents which needed the red ribbon before the Apostille Convention was adopted in the Philippines.

[ADVISORY] DFA No Longer Uses Red Ribbon on Philippine Documents
Credits: DFA
As per the DFA, what makes the Apostille different from the previous public certification of documents is that it enables them to be used in other countries that are also party to the Convention, therefore, streamlining the authentication with lower cost, quicker processing time, and greater convenience.

Once a document has been Apostilled, it no longer needs to be authenticated or legalized by the Embassy or Consulate General of the country of destination – granted that this country is also party to the Apostille Convention.

In the same way, public documents from other Apostille-contracting nations (except for Austria, Finland, Germany, and Greece) that will be used in the Philippines do not require authentication to be used in the country.

[ADVISORY] DFA No Longer Uses Red Ribbon on Philippine Documents
Credits: DFA
Regarding the cost, authentication by means of Apostille will still remain at PHP 100 for regular processing (released within 4 days), and PHP 200 for expedited processing (released the following day) per document.

If your document will be used in a country which is not part of the Apostille Convention, you will still need to submit it to the Embassy of the said country for authentication or legalization, just like before – minus the red ribbon.

For safe measure, it is recommended that you perform any of the following:

  1. Contact the Embassy of the country where you’re planning to go to and find out what your options are.
  2. Ask the recipient of your document whether an Apostille will be needed from your end.

Disclaimer: The information provided above is for information-sharing only. To know more about the authentication of public documents as well as the Apostille convention, you may visit the official website of the Department of Foreign Affairs.

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