The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) issued a reminder for Filipinos working or travelling abroad to take extra caution to avoid being conned or having their personal items stolen, including passports.
“No place is completely safe from people who try to take advantage of others, and tourists have a tendency to lower their guard while sightseeing. Filipino travelers should therefore be aware of petty c***e incidents that normally spike during peak tourist seasons,” DFA said.
DFA also posted some tips to for Filipinos to avoid falling victims to snatchers and thieves.
– Always keep alert in crowded areas such as popular tourist spots, airports, bus, train and metro stations, markets and shopping areas, large sports and concert venues, and onboard public transportation, among others, where petty criminals tend to congregate;
– Be wary of con artists who use a variety of tactics to distract tourists while accomplices gain access to one’s personal items;
– Be careful of one’s belongings. Never leave items that may easily be picked up, such as wallets, mobile phones and cameras, unattended. Always keep these close to you, especially in crowded areas;
– As much as possible, distribute your cash, credit cards, important documents and other valuables in separate compartments in your bag; and
– Keep both hard and electronic copies of your passport, IDs, credit cards and important documents handy while on travel.
What if I lose my passport or it gets stolen while I am abroad?
If by some accident, you lost your passport or you were the unlucky one chosen by thieves to become their next victim, Filipinos are advised to immediately secure a Police Report and contact the nearest Philippine Embassy or Consulate for assistance.
The embassy or consulate will provide the victim a travel document that will allow them to return to the Philippines despite their missing passport.
When applying for a new passport, however, you will be asked with more requirements than a regular application, especially while abroad.
“It therefore pays to take extra precautions while on travel to avoid this inconvenience,” DFA said.