PH Accedes To Convention Eliminating Steps In Authenticating Documents
Philippine Ambassador to The Hague Jaime Victor B. Ledda (seated, third from left) depositing the Philippines’ instrument of accession to the Apostille Convention to Ms. Coos ‘t Hoen, Head of the Treaties Division of the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs (seated, second from left) acting as treaty depository. Witnessing the ceremony are (from left) Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for Legal Affairs J Eduardo Malaya III, Associate Justice Noel G. Tijam, Associate Justice Marvic Mario Victor F. Leonen, Associate Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo, Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs Neil Frank R. Ferrer, and representatives from the Hague Conference on Private Internaitonal Law headed by its Secretary General Dr. Christophe Bernasconi (seated, second from right). (Hague PE photo)
15 September 2018 – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) takes another step towards ensuring fast and efficient consular services for the public with the recent accession of the Philippines to an international convention aimed at streamlining the authentication of documents.
In a statement, the DFA said the Philippine Embassy in the Netherlands deposited the instrument of accession to the Apostille Convention in ceremonies at the headquarters of the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) in The Hague, on 12 September 2018.
With the Apostille Convention, foreign public documents from Apostille-contracting countries need not be authenticated abroad by Philippine Embassies and Consulates General in order to be recognized and accepted in the Philippines.
Conversely, Philippine public documents need not undergo diplomatic or consular authentication in order to be used abroad in fellow Apostille-contracting countries.
“The DFA takes pride in spearheading measures to streamline and simplify processes and services for our Filipino nationals, which is the spirit of our accession to the Apostille Convention,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano said.
“The Apostille Convention cuts down the procedure for the processing and use of foreign public documents, which helps facilitate cross-border trade, investment and personal relations. This is particularly beneficial for the millions of Filipinos abroad who need to use and present public documents from the Philippines in their country of destination,” Secretary Cayetano explained.
The Apostille Convention will enter into force between the Philippines and other States Parties which have raised no objection to its accession on 14 May 2019.
Ambassador to The Hague Jaime Victor Ledda handed the instrument of accession to Coos ‘t Hoen, Head of the Treaties Division, Legal Affairs Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, which acts as the treaty depository of the Apostille Convention.
The accession of the Philippines to the Convention coincided with the celebration of the 125th anniversary of the HCCH, which was founded in 1893 for the promotion of private international law.
The accession ceremony was highlighted by the presence of Philippine Supreme Court Associate Justices Marvic Mario Victor F. Leonen, Alexander G. Gesmundo and Noel G. Tijam.
Also present were Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for Legal Affairs J Eduardo Malaya III and Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs Neil Frank R. Ferrer.
The DFA Office of Consular Affairs will be the competent authority responsible for the implementation of the Apostille Convention. The Supreme Court plays an important role since the accession would require the amendment of certain provisions of the Rules of Court pertaining to the use of foreign public documents.
The day before the deposit of the instrument of accession, the Philippine officials met with HCCH Secretary General Dr. Christophe Bernasconi to discuss further cooperation with the HCCH and the possibility of the Philippines acceding to other conventions that would be beneficial to the Filipino diaspora, such as the Service Convention. END