Philippine Airlines Unaccompanied Minor Policy


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Booking an unaccompanied minor onto a Philippine Airlines service is a little different than it would seem and is somewhat different to other major airlines.

Philippine law requires minor children who are travelling abroad without their parents to obtain a DSWD Travel Clearance, which is a safeguard against the trafficking of Filipino children.

To help with the confusion, here is a helpful guide for parents and guardians using Philippine Airlines.

Breaking Down Terminology

As a start, it is good to break down the key terminology that will be used as there is nothing more gut-wrenching that sending your children into the open world without fully understanding the ramifications of doing so.

What Is An Unaccompanied Minor?

For people who don’t use the service often or do not fly a lot, the definition of what constitutes being a “minor” is usually different to what the airline industry defines a minor as.

The airline you choose for example will define these differently, but the rough consensus among established airlines is that anyone travelling under the age of 16 will be classed as a minor, although these do vary.

Understanding Passenger Type Codes

While mainly used to verify the booking, by default, airfare systems assume that all passengers are Adults. But in this article, we know that this is not the case. The common PTCs to look out for after you have made the booking are:

  • ADT: adult
  • CHD: child
  • INF: infant without a seat
  • INS: infant with a seat
  • UNN: unaccompanied child

Terms Used here

  • DSWD: Department of Social Welfare and Development
  • UM: Unaccompanied Minor
  • YPTA: Young Person Travelling Alone

What Is The Philippine Airlines Unaccompanied Minor Policy?

The exact rules can be found on their website (should any information change down the line). a lot of Philippine Airlines rules match up exactly to the legal requirements of the carriers’ home country, Embassies, therefore, do hold valuable information as well (but ensure the information is in date).

0 to below 8 years old

Minor cannot travel alone. Must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian

8 to below 13 years old

Minor can travel alone on DOMESTIC flights only.

Must avail of the Unaccompanied Minor Service*.

13 to below 18 years old

Minor can travel alone on DOMESTIC and INTERNATIONAL flights. Must avail of the Unaccompanied Minor Service*.

  • For Filipino Nationals unaccompanied minors on an international journey, a travel clearance must be secured from the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
  • Foreign minors or non-Philippine passport holders travelling from the Philippines must check with their respective embassies for any applicable requirements.

Rules on Inward and Outward Travel

Strangely two different sets of rules apply depending on the direction the child is travelling in

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Before travelling the parent or guardian of an Unaccompanied Minor is required to complete the Unaccompanied Minor handling advice form and submit it to the airline.

Outward Travel – Leaving the Philippines

For International travel, Philippine Passport holders must secure an “authority to travel” clearance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development. 

For information or inquiries about Unaccompanied Minors travelling abroad, you may contact the Department of Social Welfare and Development through:

Guidance notes can be found on the DSWD Administrative Order No. 2012 of 2017 – the Guidelines for Minors Travelling Abroad. You are strongly advised to read the entire document as it has clauses in it that can trip any well-intentioned parent up, such as:

  • In any case, where an illegitimate/non-marital minor secures a travel clearance, a certificate of no marriage of his/her biological mother from the Philippine Statistics Authority is required.
  • A minor who is subject of an ongoing/pending custody battle before the court between his/her parents and is travelling abroad with either of his/her parents will not be issued a travel clearance unless a court order is issued allowing him/her to travel
  • No minor below 13 years of age shall be allowed to travel alone

Foreign/Non-Philippine passport holders must check with their respective embassies for any applicable “exit clearance” requirement.

For Domestic travel where children/minors are travelling to and from Davao, pursuant to City Ordinance No. 2491, otherwise known as the Davao City Children’s Welfare Code, it provides that the minors are not allowed to travel alone to and from Davao City without valid reason or without clearance issued by the Punong Barangay or permit to travel certification coming from the City Social Services and Development Office, City of Davao.

Who does not need a DSWD Travel Clearance to leave the Philippines?

  • A Filipino minor travelling with either parent, with his or her solo parent or legal guardian;
  • A Filipino minor whose parents are in the Foreign Service
  • A Filipino minor who holds a temporary or permanent resident visa of another country and is rejoining the parents in that country
  • A child holding a foreign passport
  • Holds a valid pass such as Dependent Visa, Dependent Pass, Dependent Identification, Permanent Resident Visa, Permanent Resident Pass, or Permanent Resident Identification Card is no longer required to secure a DSWD Travel Clearance
  • Was born abroad and has foreign citizenship

A Filipino minor who lives abroad but does not hold a Permanent Resident Visa, Permanent Resident Pass, or Permanent Resident Identification Card is required to secure a DSWD Travel Clearance.

Inward Travel – Entering the Philippines

The latest guidance was issued by the DSWD on the 6th December 2021. Should the link fail then Philipines Airlines has the exact rules at the time on their website

The following documents must be presented upon check-in:

  1. Endorsement Letter from DSWD
    1. All arrival of unaccompanied minors and those arriving with a non-relative should be coordinated with the Department of Social Welfare and Development no less than one (1) week before the expected flight schedule.
    2. An application can be made online at –
  2. Copy of Passport of the UM/YP
  3. Copy of Passport or ID of the minor’s parents and authorized guardian in the Philippines.
  4. Authorization Letter – indicating the name and address of the guardian in the Philippines and that the parents are:
    1. allowing the UM/YP to be alone inside the quarantine facility
    2. the UM/YP will be monitored by the parents regularly 
    3. the responsibility of the UM/YP is on the parents and guardian and therefore in case of any emergency they will immediately go to the quarantine facility to check the minor
  5. The contact number of the minor, parents, and guardian
  6. Copy of Birth certificate
  7.  Flight Details 

Documents needed to complete endorsement letter

The amount of documents required is not a small list, the Department of Social Welfare and Development website has further information but below is the current list.

The requirements needed to obtain a travel clearance for minors travelling abroad during the interview are:
  1. Duly accomplished on-line application form;
  2. Uploaded scanned copy of required documents of minor:
  3. Birth Certificate on security paper (SECPA) from Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)
  4. Notarized (at the place of residence) affidavit or written consent of both parents/solo parent/legal guardian, permitting the minor to travel to a foreign country and/or authorizing a particular person, with a valid identification card with a specimen signature, to accompany the child.
  5. Two (2) original coloured passport size photos (white, red or blue background) of the minor taken within the last six (6) months from the time of application.
  1. Affidavit of Support and certified copy of any evidence to show the financial capability of sponsor (parents/legal guardian or another person/agency shouldering the expenses) such as:
    1. Certificate of Employment,
    1. Latest Income Tax Return,
    1. Bank Statement, etc. (new)
  2. Original copy of the previous Travel Clearance issued; (renewal)
  3. Copy of the passport of the travelling companion
  4. Unaccompanied Minor Certificate from the Airlines
  5. Waiver from the parents releasing DSWD from any liability/responsibility in case of untoward incident during the travel of the child.
  1. Copy of the marriage certificate (SECPA) from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)
  2. A certified true copy of the Court Order on Legal Guardianship
  3. A solo parent identification card from the LSWDO or certification of being a solo parent, court decree of separation, annulment or divorce
  4. Certificate of no marriage (CENOMAR) from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)
  5. Tallaq or Fasakh certification from the Shariah Court or any Muslim Barangay or religious leader
Additional requirements for Seafarer Parents
  1. Certification from the manning agency attesting to the parent’s employment
  2. Copy of the Seaman’s Book
Additional requirements for Deceased Parents
  1. Copy of the death certificate
Additional requirements for Missing Parents
  1. Social Case Study Report executed by a licensed social worker of the local government unit
  2. Blotter report from either the local police or barangay certification from the locality or the last known address of the alleged missing; and
  3. One (1) returned registered mail to the last known address of the alleged missing parent(s) or known relative(s).
Requirements for minors under the Foster Care Programme
  1. Notarized affidavit of undertaking by the Foster Parents indicating the purpose of travel, destination, duration of travel and a provision stating the commitment of the Foster Parent on their personal appearance, with the child, to the Regional Director or his/her duly authorized representative, within 5 days upon return to the country;
  2. Notarized Affidavit of Consent from the Regional Director or authorized representative
  3. Photocopy of Foster Placement Authority; (original copy to be attached for verification)
  4. Photocopy of Foster Care License of the family; (original copy to be attached for verification)
  5. DSWD Certification of Child legally available for adoption (CDCLAA)
Additional Supporting Documents
  1. Visa petition approval
Studying Abroad
  1. Acceptance or certificate of Enrollment or Registration from the school where the minor is to be enrolled
  1. Endorsement letter from the school head
  2. Certification from sponsoring organization
  3. Affidavit of undertaking of companion indicating the safety measures undertaken by the sports agency (for sports competition)
  4. Signed Invitation from the Sponsoring agency/organization abroad with the itinerary of travel and list of participants and duration of the activity/travel
For Medical Purposes
  1. Medical Abstract of the minor
  2. Recommendation from the attending physician that such medical procedure is not available in the country
  3. Letter from the sponsor of medical expenses
For Inter-Country Adoption
  1. Placement Authority issued by the ICAB
  2. Authority to Escort issued by the ICAB

The Process at the Airport

Once you are ready to travel and have all the relevant paperwork you will need to present it to airport staff upon checking. Easily enough, once all the paperwork is out of the way then you are pretty much ready to go.

It is important the persons indicated on the form are the persons handing the minor to the airline as well as the one receiving the minor from the airport upon arrival

UMFS is required for UM below 12 years old. For 12 to 18 years old, it is optional.

Philippine Airline Charges

If you wish to use Unaccompanied Minor service Philippine airlines will be charged the full fare plus a service fee calculated on a per sector basis (ie. Per flight basis) and will need to be paid at the time of booking.




Unaccompanied Minor Service Fee (UMSF) is refundable for the following cases: 
a. Passenger does not want to push thru with the flight 
b. An accompanying adult is available 
c. Passenger rebooks flight and turns 12 years of age on the new flight date 
d. Flight disruptions/cancellations 

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