May 14, 2019, was significant concerning Philippine history because it was the day when the Philippines officially becomes a party to the Apostille Convention. That means that the Department of Foreign Affairs will no longer issue certificates of authentication (popularly known as “red ribbon”) for all Philippine documents to be used in all Country members starting May 14, 2019. The United States is a long-time member of the Apostille Convention since October 15, 1981. With this development, the DFA will now issue an Apostille Certificate, and once this is issued, there is no more need for further legalization of the document by Foreign Embassies.
Talking about the United States for instance, if a local notary notarizes documents such as Deeds of Sale, Special Power of Attorney or Mortgage documents to that will be used in the United States, these documents have to be submitted for Apostille at the Department of Foreign Affairs so they can be used legally in the United States. Once an Apostille certificate is issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs, there is no more need for further legalization of the documents at the US Embassy. In the past, when the US Embassy in Manila used to accept the Notarial Seal of Philippine accredited notaries during that time Atty. Alex Acain Jr. is a US Embassy Manila authorised notary, all we have to do is go straight to the US Embassy and have the document that we have notarised authenticated by the US Embassy in Manila, and it will be ready for use in the United States. But all these procedures have to change now given the formal accession of the Philippines to the Apostille Convention.
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