Two Filipino friends, Kate Tilaok and Deborah Galapon, are vacationing in Toronto. They are permanent residents of New York. Two days before returning to the United States, Kate and Deborah decided to renew their Philippine passports, which were expiring in two months, at the Philippine Consulate General in Toronto instead of waiting to renew these at the Philippine Consulate in New York. The passport officer refused to renew their Philippine passports on the ground that they were merely vacationing in Toronto. The passport officer also advised them to renew their passports at the Philippine Consulate in New York.
Question: Did the passport officer act correctly in refusing to renew the Philippine passports of Kate and Deborah and in advising them to renew the said passports at the Philippine Consulate in New York?
Answer: Yes, the passport officer acted correctly in refusing to renew Kate and Deborah’s Philippine passports and in advising them to renew these at the Philippine Consulate General in New York. The reason for this is that the extension of consular services to Filipino nationals overseas is jurisdictional. This means that Philippine Embassies and Consulates abroad extend consular services, which includes passport services, ONLY to Filipino nationals and other clients residing or working within their respective consular jurisdictions. For example: the consular jurisdiction of the Philippine Consulate General in Toronto covers the provinces of Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. Thus, the Consulate extends consular services only to Filipinos and other clients residing within these provinces. It does not extend consular services to those residing outside its consular jurisdiction like Kate and Deborah. Since Kate and Deborah are permanent residents of New York, they should renew their passports at the Philippine Consulate General in New York City whose consular jurisdiction covers New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Oklahoma, and New Hampshire.
In the same breadth, the Philippine Consulate General in Vancouver extends consular services only to Filipinos and other clients residing in British Colombia, Alberta, Northwest Territories, Yukon Territory, District of McKenzie, Western Part of the District of Franklin, and Perry Island. Similarly, the Philippine Embassy in Ottawa extends consular services only to those residing in Ottawa, parts of Ontario East of Kingston, Quebec, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Islands.
There are, however, exceptions to the aforementioned rule and these are: (1) In emergency cases, and (2) in case of Filipino tourists who wish to renew their Philippine passports at the nearest Philippine Consulate or Embassy abroad. In these 2 cases, the concerned Philippine Embassy or Consulate may renew a Philippine passport even though the holder is neither residing nor working within the former’s consular jurisdiction.