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Damaged Philippine Passport Incident 529. The Case of the Detached Cover.

I’m back in the Philippines.

An apologetic TSA agent managed to detach my passport cover in Newark Liberty airport last night. I didn’t know the implications of having a damaged passport until I conducted some research during my layover in Hong Kong.

You see, some E-Passports issued by the Philippine Government in 2010 have a tendency to fall apart. The government claims that there were only 528 incidents of such damage – make it 529 now. The spine is the most vulnerable part of this particular batch of passport and they’ve mitigated this with some tape. There was even coverage in local news about a kid who wasn’t allowed to fly out due to his damaged passport.

I went straight to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) office as soon as I arrived. Upon inspection of my “mutilated” (their terms, not mine) passport, they felt that it was necessary for me to have it replaced. Sadly, this is something tape can’t fix. To be fair to the DFA, the staff were accommodating and professional. At least they showed some empathy on the situation. But yes, I had to pay for my new passport and  I had no choice but to accept what they offer me. It could be worse.

From what was originally planned as a short, 1 week trip is now tentatively set to almost 2 weeks. If I get my passport in time, I have to at least extend my stay in Manila for another 5 days.

Ouch. Time to send out some emails.

UPDATE (January 3, 2015)

This post got a lot of traffic based on the comments below. While it originally intended to be a rant, here are some notes that may hopefully help address some of your anxiety.  Good luck!

  • Natanggal ba yung cover?  Detached cover? – Yikes! Your passport is definitely mutilated and my advise is for you to rush to the nearest DFA consul office or Philippine Embassy so you can request for an immediate replacement. The risk here is that even if you’re flying out of the country, say, from the United States – they won’t allow you since your passport is damaged! Avoid the stress and pray that they’ll send you the replacement just in time for your trip. I was lucky because my passport got mutilated AFTER inspection (it was accidentally detached by a security offices sa airport). Bottom line is, it’s going to be a real hassle and your best bet is to go straight to the DFA offices in Macapagal upon arrival. Time is of the essence!
  • Nabasa? It got wet?  – Hmmm….I actually heard of a case on Facebook where my friend still managed to travel back to the Philippines. It’s worth a shot BUT I recommend that if you have time to have it replaced, do so. An added benefit of that is you kinda renewed your passport in advance.
  • Kinagat ng aso? A.k.a. my dog ate my passport – Oh my god, okay that sounds really bad. On top of reprimanding your dog, it sounds like you would need a replacement!
  • Nasulatan? – It’s akin to vandalism, intentional or not so this might fall under the damaged category as well.

Basta, ang rule is if your passport shows some form of damage (not to be confused with wear and tear), let’s say sira talaga siya (natiklop (bent), napunit (torn)) it always pays to be on the safe side. When in doubt, get a new one. Lalo na kung may time pa! 

Yes, it’s a hassle but the good news is, you’ll be given a new reinforced passport that should survive future trips.

Having said that, check out these links for additional help:

Procedures from the DFA

More Info here

Good luck! If you found this post helpful, please check out if you want to send grocery packs for your family in the Philippines (sorry for the shameless plug).






  1. tin-tin

    one of the page of my passport has been detached , middle page .
    can i still travel ?
    im so depressed cause my flight is already book , 2 days to go before my flight .

  2. KC

    Maybe mine’s the 530th! Mine got detached too by the immigration attendant in Incheon Airport, he took it out from the cover. When the immigration attendant saw my passport he advised me to go to DFA ASAP to have it “fixed”. I guess they’ll also advise me to have it replaced. 😐 thanks for this!!

    • Mark John loreto

      Nabasa poh yung passport lumabo ang letter sa firts page pero yung manga nAme ko at pati yung number nang passport ay hnd hnd nman lomabu ano dpat gawen kc poh flyt ko n.a. poh sa January 2 ano poh gagawen ko plss

      • Mark Deofat Baluran

        I was offloaded due to washed passport last January 9, My passport was discolored but my personal details was still recognizable, Please do go to the DFA – OCA for replacement to prevent future flight delays.

      • angel lin

        Ano po nangyari sa inyo nakasakay po ba kayo or kailangan po tlaga kumuha ng bagong passport ? Ganyan din po kasi nangyari skin ngayon and flight ko na sa 25

  3. joeffey

    I just had the same.experience here in ho chi .minh city. The pages were totally detached from the cover! I plan to go to the philippine consulate today, wednesday. But the information i got from the web.makes my situation worse. The consulate is.not open on.wednesdays. i have to.leave vietnam to korea on friday, so i wonder about the consequences at the immigration points, both exit and entry. Will i be allowed to exit and fly and enter my Pls help! Thank you.

  4. Angelica

    Hey there! May I ask if you can say something about what is “mutilated” when it comes to them? I have a very small scratch and a 3mm cut on mine, i keep calling their hotline but always busy…

  5. sj

    Do i need to have an appointment set up? Mine was detached by ethihad staff during checking in… which dfa? Im going this sept 1. I already cancel my trip fro SG… argrhhhh

  6. Reyann

    hi there , may passport got discoloration , just little , but all details about me is fine and clear , does discoloration can effect for my traveling ??

  7. hi, sir may i ask cause my passport got mutilated it had a little discoloration. in the middle left side near at the picture of mine made of my name, but all the detail about my personality was clear, what should i do? i had a flight on Sept, 29. just a days left . please reply ..

  8. yelenamaligaya

    Hi I just want to know my passport accidentally put in the washing machine. I need to go back in Malaysia my flight are book already what I can do

  9. janecee

    Hi! My passport cover was also detached. If I have if replaced, will the passport number change? Will DFA replace the entire passport ot will just fix the cover and the pages including the stamps and visas are still intact?

    I have a scheduled trip abroad and I already lodged my visa application. Im afraid that if I replaceand data will change in my travel documents I’ll be faced with problems with regards to my visa.

    Thank you in advance.

    • jassie

      Hi, janecee! I am facing the same problem right now.. I am hoping you can share your experience? Is there a way that I can keep the old passport number?

      Thanks a lot!

  10. Janecee

    My passport’s cover was also detached and I have a pending visa application right now. If I have it replaced, will the passport number change? Did dfa replace you entire passport or just the cover, all other still the same and intact such as old pages with stamps and passport number? Thanks in advance.

  11. Day

    well, this may sound funny, but my dog ate my passport, the good thing is I noticed it immediately so the damage is minimal, its just at the tip of the passport, can I still use it?

  12. jonathan

    Sir good day. It was an accident that my pen has a leak. Tumagas bolpen ko nadamay e-passport ko. Ano po dapat ko gawin.1. consider po naba na invalid passport ko. (2016 pa expiration passport ko) 2. Pag nag appointment ako sa branches dito Manila aasikasuhin ba nila damage kong passport?
    3. My processing ba ang mga malls sa damage passport?

    Kilangan ko din kasi mapadali asekasu passport ko. Hoping for reply..please help!

  13. rowe ridad

    Hi. Mg daughter has a newly issued passport. She requested me to scan it as she’ll send it to Dubai for visa, which I did. When I placed the passport in my bag and folllowed it later with my laptop one of the center pages was slightly crumpled. Will this pose a problem.

  14. Eunizelle

    hi sir my passport was also detached from the cover and I’m flying in 4wks time, we already booked everything hotels and tours. What should I do pls help me… Huhuhu

  15. Eunizelle

    Hi sir my passport was detached from the cover too and we’re flying in 4wks time. We already have hotels and tour bookings.. What should I do?? Pls help me! Huhuhu

  16. Pia Sumatra

    sir JC Medina hello po… sir medyo kinakabahan po ako sa passport ko . Eh kasi nainitan po yun ng pwet ng rice cooker pero hindi nman po ngmoist.. ok lang po ba yun,? baka kasi nasira ang mga chips dun.. hindi nmn po xa nasunog no physical damaged nman kung titingnan pero nababahala po kasi ako baka sira na ang chips. Help po papaano ma identify na sira????

    Tnx po.. ds 2nd week of dec. 2014 po flyt ko..

  17. Hey guys. Sorry to hear about your issues. It might be best to approach DFA directly with these matters since sila rin ang magiinspect talaga ng passport niyo. As a rule of thumb, if it’s damaged (even just a little bit), it’s best to report this ASAP to DFA. Lalo na kung natanggal yung cover. Good luck!

    • cale

      Hello Sir! I would just like to ask what office of DFA should we go to consult if our passport is indeed damaged or otherwise? Do they have an office in the airport since you mentioned you went there straight as soon as you arrived in the country? Thank you very much for these helpful information.

        • Hi sir. Nabasa po yung gilid ng passport ko pero wala naman pong nabura. Nabasa napo to bago tinatakan para visahan . wala po bang problem yun kapag NASA airport napo . nxweek na kasi flight ko . reply po asap thankyou

          • Jhet

            hi armie. ano kaya nangyari s iyo? kc aq may visa n rin, paalis dpat aq in 2wks time, pero may stain ung passport ko, nabasa ng perfume, readable nmn ung info page. sn nkaalis ka using the same passport. God bless.

          • reveca

            hi armie, ano po nangyari sa flight mo? kmuha ka ba ng bagong passport? same situation kasi sakin.

  18. amy

    hi ,, this was my problem now,, my 2010 pasport detach.. where can i go now,. im going home to pilipinas now .. pls reply need help..tenk you.. from atlanta

  19. Edward

    Hello po! Punta po kasi ako sa Japan this April. Kaso yung passport ko ay may konting tiklop, a bit wrinkled below my picture. Ndi naman umabot yung wrinkling sa photo ko. All info are clear and intact. Dapat ko po ba palitan ito? Nagwoworry kasi ako baka ndi ako mabigyan ng Japanese visa. Please help. Thanks.

  20. Edward

    Hello po! Punta po kasi ako sa Japan this April. Kaso yung passport ko ay may konting tiklop, a bit wrinkled below my picture. Ndi naman umabot yung wrinkling sa photo ko. All info are clear and intact. Dapat ko po ba palitan ito? Nagwoworry kasi ako baka ndi ako mabigyan ng Japanese visa. Please help. Thank you po.

  21. hi po….i went last june 9 2015 sa singapore but na a to a po ako…di ako nakapsok ng SG bumalik ako ng june10 ng madaling araw…but the flight attendance approach me..mam may konting tear po ung passport nyu dun sa last shock ako…kya pla ayaw ibigay ng security guard na nag escort sakin papantang eroplnano na sinakyan ko…pwedi pa po bng gamitin un…o kylngan ng i replace to get a new one..konting tear lng po…tnx

    • Sis ask ko lng ano nangyari sa passport mo napunit din kc sakin sa gitna mga 2 inches mgagamit ko pa kya pero andun pa namn sinaksak k kc wallet k sa bag ko maliit tu mama sa page nya

  22. ing tear nya po ay sa last page parang my nilagay silang papers then accidentally na inaalis ung nakadikit sa passport un pti passport ko nagkaroon ng tear pero maliit lng po i nid ur reply tnx

  23. hi po! paano po kaya sa case ko.. nasunugan po kasi kami and lahat ng documents ko ay nasunog including my passport ano po kaya mga needed steps pra mareplace ko yung nasunog kong passport? thanks 🙂

  24. hazel

    what if medyo nangatngat ng daga ung gilid ng cover ng passport? is it still valid? or need ko na talagang pumunta sa dfa for replacement? pls. help me..

  25. Kitty

    Hi sir JC. I gave my flight on monday and nkastamo na ung visa ko sa passport ko. Yung passport ko mejo basa sa picture page, sa upper right corner konti lg naman, pero d naman apektado yung passport number. Slightly smeared ng tubig. Feeling mo.mahohold ako nito sa immigration? Thanks in advance. 🙂

  26. Pawlo

    Hi. Yung passport ko po kasi bumakat yung details dun sa first page, okay lang po ba yun? Parang sa sobrang luma nya bumakat sya, pero okay lahat ng pages. Hindi naman nalukot o natiklop, bumakat lang po talaga dun sa likod ng mismismong page ng may details, okay lang po kaya yun? Di ko na po kasi maparenew kasi ang flight ko po sa august 30 na.

  27. Hello sir
    Pls need a help napunit po kc ung isang page sa gitna pero 2 inches. Pero d xa na separate. Ang nangyari maliit ung bag ko nung ipasok ko ung wallet ko natama pala sa paper mga mgagamit k po pa rin ba to? Salamat kaka renew ko lng kc wla pa isang taon

  28. Karen

    Hi, pano po yung passport ng baby ko (3yrs old) ay nabasa yung first page. Nadamage po yung pic and some details. Paano po kaya ipapa renew yun? Thanks

  29. jiwar

    How about my passport? got wet but still in good shape and the letters is still clear.. do i still need to renew it? the only problem is.. my passport got wet thats all… pls reply…

  30. John

    Hi kuya, yung passport ko po medyo na flip yung sa Biodata page lang po. pero di naman half yun na flip yung sa edge lang po sa right side ang medyo sa flip. Ok lang po ba yun?

  31. Flordeliz

    Hi i found my passport vertically cut right thru the middle. I suppose it was cut with scissors or any sharp object for cutting. I have no idea how it happened as there is none with me at home other than my husband whose passport was also horizontally ripped almost completely. Would mine still be considered damaged or mutilated?

    • Jam

      Hi cath may i know what happened to this incident? Ganyan din kasi sakin and flight ko na in 2 weeks. Just got off dfa and they said need palitan pero need din ng appointment. Which is impossible kasi laging by 1 or 2 months lang may avail? Badly needed the response please 🙁

  32. Maya

    Nabasa po yung passport ko ng tubig.
    Kailangan po ba talagang papalitan? May epekto po ba ang pagkabasa sa “chip” na nasa cover ng passport? Please reply sir:)

  33. Good evening . Im pretty much worried with my pp , yung last page po masulatan nang pamangkin ko but it’s very small lng po tas mdjo nbasa yung part na yun . Could it be a problem once I travel? Thank u in advance

    • TM

      Hi Neiq.. I kind of have the same problem as you nasulatan sa last page at sa likod nang back cover ang passport ko. Pero hindi na man sya nabasa. Nasulatan ng 2 years old kong anak. May I know if nkatravel ka ba with your passport condition? Or kumuha ka ng bago?

  34. Jonna

    Hi guys, nagtanong ako last time about my passport na nagfade ng konti yung picture found in the right side.. yun yung parang shadow effect lang.. I was allowed to travel.. so no need to worry kung hindi naman sya kitang kita. Twice ko syang ginamit and hindi sya napansin.. My tip is, mag web check in na lang kayo para maprint mo na boarding pass mo. As per immigration officer.. once na may Bpass ka na and hindi ka naman kahinahinala, you’re good to go. Hope this will help.

    • charm

      Hi sis jonna,

      pero dba po for web check. in ung mga walang baggage lng to check in mine is kakarenew lng kasi ng dec 2016 pero now nkta ko ung page 3 may konting fold eh.. hope u reply po..

  35. rey

    hello po,,yung passport ko po kinagat ng aso,hindi naman po ako nag madali na lumipad agad,pero,ano po ang dapat kung gawin,,?? do i have to get another requirement like NBI, to get replacement?

  36. hi 🙂 i have a flight this may 9 2016 but accidentaly my 3y/o son got my passport while i was packing my baggage “nasulatan nya ung passport ko ” next day i run to the nearest dfa office here which is dfa robinson pampanga and dfa marquee mall .. what they said is plitan pero di na aabot sa date ng flight ko and the i run to the immigration in marquee mall “pinsok nila sa loob ung passport ko then pag labas nung guy sbe nya sken kung ako tatangapin ko yan kaso lng bka ung pupunthn mo is mahigpit .. my flight is philipines to vietnam :”( kung mag papa sched nmn ako dnko aabot . badly need help

  37. anne

    yung gusto mo palitan ang passport mo kc nga mejo sira na ung cover nya pero 2018 pa expired.. pero ayaw naman nila palitan!!! at sisisihin ka pa ng director.. di ko naman siguro kasalanan kung ganon kahuna ang passport nila! eh twice palang nmn akong nag ttravel!

  38. meru

    For all passport damaged or mutilated it is better change it before kau mg travel. Grabe un nranasan nmin sa bawat imigration ng malaysia and singapore..maaring makalampas k sa pilipinas but sa bansang pupuntahan ntin d nila inaallow..kc my sariling rules and policy daw ang bawat imigration na d same ng pilipinas,kaya advice lng po.kauwi lng nmin last june 7 2016.

  39. Leyn

    Hi just got my new released passport here in Saudi..tpos i gave it to our passport office for transfer of information..after 2 weeks nakuha ko sya..kaso first 3 pages folded na..okay lng ba yun???

  40. janine

    Hi! Ask kolng po my friend kc ko ngppatanong what if na detached ng konti ung sa unang page ng passport mga 1 inch maari pa po ba gamitin un? Ano po ba kelangan gawin pag ganon. Thank u po sa sagot.

  41. Jesa sarino

    Hi ung passport ko gnamitan k ng liquid eraser..s likod ng passport k kc po mali ung nalagy kng nym pnlitan k po ung nym ng contact emergncy k gnmitan ko po ng liquid eraser..posible po kya mgkaproblema ako s imigration..kkarenew k lng po ng passport k

  42. Mario

    Hi, my daughter’s passport got wet but all her personal details including her picture is still okay, except that the printed picture on the right side on the same page was slightly erased. What will be the repercussion if she decides to travel back home from the US? Will US immigration will not allow her to leave?

  43. retchel cule

    Hello po ask LNG po ako anu gagawin ko kc ung passport ko subra tlga ung damage dahil sa aso po nmin layo kc DFA. Samin NSA Zamboanga city po NSA dipolog city lng kc kmi ano po ba kailangan o requirements PRA pag makapunta npo ako ready na lahat. 8hours kc travel from my home town to DFA salamat po

  44. Renato Barlam Cahilif

    Sir JC,
    Inilagay po ang sticker ng baggage claim sa last page ng alisin ko nabura ang pinagdikitan. Yung page meron Important Reminders. Ano po bang gagawin ko?

  45. Pingback: Damaged Passports: When Should You Have Your Passport Replaced? | MasterCitizen's Blog

  46. marlene mendoza

    tanong ko lang po. may kamag anak po ako na ganyan din ang nangyari nabasa po passport nya pinatuyo nya lang po tas ok naman di naman lumabo ang mga litra nag abroad po sya nakaalis naman po sya paputang duhbi po di naman nahold passport nya kaso ng sumakay dapat sya papuntang qatar di sya pinayagan ng imegration kasi daw peke daw po passport nya.ano po ba ang dapat gawin uuwi pa po ba sya dito sa pinas para lang ipaayos passport nya ?baka naman po pweding sa pilipine embassy nalang po ipaayos ?

  47. marlene mendoza

    tanong ko lang po. may kamag anak po ako na ganyan din ang nangyari nabalang po tas ok naman di naman lumabo ang mga litra nag abroad po sya sa po passport nya pinatuyo nya nakaalis naman po sya paputang duhbi po di naman nahold passport nya kaso ng sumakay dapat sya papuntang qatar di sya pinayagan ng imegration kasi daw peke daw po passport nya.ano po ba ang dapat gawin uuwi pa po ba sya dito sa pinas para lang ipaayos passport nya ?baka naman po pweding sa pilipine embassy nalang po ipaayos ?

  48. recnelle

    paano mo my maliit n punit ung passport pero still andon nmn ung kadugtong ng passport naka attached pa din ngyon ko lng napansin siguro nung nagcheck na ako sa immgration baka napunit siya .irenew ko n lng po much better

  49. Arham

    Hi maam /sir
    Nag lost passport po ako
    Galing ako ng saudi isa ako sa mga undocumented sa saudi tapos nong pomonta ako sa dfa dto sa manila nag submet ako ng v-ID ko yong ID nayon ay fake pala kaya henold nila ang mga papelisko ano poba gagawinko?

  50. Lovely Timosa

    Hi, I have a question. My passport got stapled sa front cover in the lower part from the embassy. Got a two small holes. I’m so sad about this one. Is this still okay? I’m planning to leave soon.

  51. ireene balasbas

    pano po nagkapalit kami ng napirmahan passport ng asawa ko. napirmahan ko ung passport nya. at sya naman napirmahan ang passport ko. bago release lang po ito noong dec 12,2017.
    Invalid na po ba ito? ano po ang dapat gawin?

  52. Chelle lupoz

    Sir help po.. napunit po lahat ng pages ng e passport ko balak ko po sana irenew na ngayun at sa june 2018 po xpire ng passport ko.. ano ano. Po ba mga requirements na kailangan kunin para pgpunta ko dfa my mairepsent npo ako.. salamt po.. pls response ..tnx

  53. ivan borgiey

    i want to know if my passport can be considered as broken. i want to send a photo of it to you if possible.
    but here is the description of the “damage”


  54. K8

    Hi po like ko lang mag ask ung passport ko po kasi may paper silang inistapler sa data page sa immigration dto sa abu dhabi para sa procesing ng visa ko na ididikit sa passport tapos nung inalis sa pagka stapler may small holes po na tatlo. Eh uuwi po ako this march 13 magkaka prob po ba ako?

  55. Hi. I have to fly to Taiwan on April 3rd. And Yesterday there was an unfortunate thing that happened to my passport. My bag was on top of the bed while I was busy getting ready to go to my appointment. I stepped out of the room to brush my teeth and when I got back my passport was missing together with some laminated ID’s. I looked for it and found it under the bed and it already has writings or basically just lines using a pen by my 2 years old daughter. It’s on the 2nd to the last page to the inside of my passport cover above the barcode at the back of my passport. I’m worried I already booked my flight few weeks ago to Taiwan and I don’t know if my passport is considered damaged or I do not have to worry about it for now?? I’m panicking and don’t know what to do. Please help me.

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