DFA Authentication; when required
The 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations requires various kind of documents sourced from particular sovereign states (e.g. public documents, private documents, and commercial documents) to be subjected to authentication before it can be valid or have operative effect in another country’s legal jurisdiction.
This function of the DFA is performed through its Authentication Division-Office of Consular Affairs. The DFA may authenticate an act, deed documents etc. executed or sourced within Philippine legal jurisdiction by way of certifying said act, as follows: a) executed before a local notary public officer authorized to execute such functions, b) testified to by a public seal, c) rendered public by the authority of a competent magistrate, d) certified as being a copy of a public register. When these acts, deeds or documents have been duly authenticated by the Department, the receiving embassies or consulates or any other foreign legal entities are, in effect assured that aforesaid documents are in order or have been legalized in accordance with proper procedure.
If a document is signed within the premises of Philippine Embassies, consulates and foreign legal entities, authentication may or may not be required for use within the Philippines. Since an embassy, consulate or foreign legal entity is an extension of our sovereign territory, it is as if the document was signed in the Philippines. However, under rules of reciprocity in international relations, sovereign states normally require authentication of foreign documents to be used in the foreign territory.
The DFA certification/authentication does not authenticate the validity/efficacy/enforceability of the basic document itself. It merely attest to the genuineness of the signature appearing on the attached certification for the purpose of identifying a specific document and giving credence to the official acts of the notary public or certifying officer thereon for use, if and when required, as instrument of evidence in foreign countries.
To know more about this topic or if you need assistance in having your documents authenticated, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Atty. Joyce Domingo at +632-8231090.