LEGAL BA ANG PAGGAMIT NG PHILIPPINE PASSPORT BILANG KOLATERAL SA UTANG?”
ANG PHILIPPINE PASSPORT NA NA-ISSUE SA ISANG FILIPINO AY ISANG PROPERTY NA PAG-AARI NG PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT AT ANG TAO NA NA-ISSUEHAN NITO AY BINIBIGYAN LAMANG NG PRIBILEHEYO NA GAMITIN ITO AYON SA REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8239 OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE PHILIPPINE PASSPORT ACT OF 1996. ANG PHILIPPINE PASSPORT AY HINDI PWEDENG I-SURRENDER SA KAHIT SINONG TAO EXCEPT SA PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT MISMO O SA AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE NITO O SA PHILIPPINE POST SERVICE FOR SAFEKEEPING LAMANG.
ANG PHILIPPINE PASSPORT AY HINDI PWEDENG GAMITIN NA KOLATERAL SA PAG-UTANG O GAMITIN SA IBA PANG PARAAN DAHIL ITO AY ISA RING KRIMEN NA PINAPARUSAHAN NG REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8239 OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE PHILIPPINE PASSPORT ACT OF 1996.
May mga OFW na nagtanong sa E-Lawyers Online tungkol sa kalakaran ng paggamit ng Philippine passport bilang kolateral sa pag-utang. Ito ba ay legal? Ganito ang tanong ng isang reader ng E-Lawyers Online:
“May inutangan ako atty sa Middle East ng pera dahil emergency lang at kinuha niya ang passport ko. Ngayon kailangan ko umuwi at konti na lamang ang kulang ko sa kanya mga P15,000 na lang na halos 5-6 na tubo ay nadoble na, ayaw niya ibigay, pwede ko ba mabawi yun? Legal ba atty na ihold niya passport ko?”
Ayon sa Section 11 ng Republic Act No. 8239 also known as “Philippine Passport Act of 1996”, ang Philippine passport ay pag-aari ng Philippine government at ang tao na nabigyan nito ay binibigyan ng privilege na gamitin ito hanggat ito ay may bisa at hindi pwede ibigay sa kahit na sinong tao except sa mismong Philippine government o authorized representative nito. Pwede rin itong iwanan sa Philippine Postal Office for safekeeping only.
Sec. 11. Ownership of Passports. — A Philippine passport remains at all times the property of the Government, the holder being a mere possessor thereof as long as it is valid and the same may not be surrendered to any person or entity other than the government or its representative:Provided, That a Filipino citizen may voluntarily surrender his/her passport to a Philippine Service Post for storage and safekeeping for which a proper receipt shall be issued for use when reclaiming the passport at a later date.
Pwede bang gamitin na kolateral ang pasaporte mo sa utang mo?
Hindi. Dahil pinagbabawal ang pag-surrender ng Philippine passport sa ibang tao except sa Philippine government o authorized representative, ang paggamit ng pasaporte bilang kolateral sa utang ay isang illegal na gawain. Ayon sa Section 19 (e) ng Republic Act No. 8239 also known as “Philippine Passport Act of 1996”:
(d) Offenses Relating to Improper Use; Penalties. — Any person who willfully and knowingly:
1. Uses or attempts to use, any passport issued or designed for the use of another or any supporting documents for a passport application which belongs to another; or
2. Uses or attempts to use any passport or supporting documents in violation of the conditions or restrictions therein contained, or of the rules prescribed pursuant thereto; or
3. Furnishes, disposes, or delivers a passport to any person, for use by another or other than the person for whose use it was originally issued or designed; or
4. Defaces or destroys a Philippine passport, shall be punished by a fine of not less than Sixty thousand pesos (P60,000) nor more than One hundred fifty thousand pesos (P150,000) and imprisonment of not less than six (6) years nor more than fifteen years.
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