A Special Power of Attorney or SPA is a legal document that can be used by an individual on behalf of another person. An SPA is very helpful particularly for OFWs who need to get a document or apply for a loan in the Philippines, yet working in the foreign country. Instead of going home to process the documents, you can make use of SPA and need not leave your work abroad.
A family member can be the best person that an OFW can allow to transact business in his or her behalf through the Special Power of Attorney. But, the SPA must be obtained from the Philippine Consular Office.
Before we proceed to the steps in getting Consularized SPA, it makes sense to understand what it really is. A Consularized Special Power of Attorney is a legal document authorizing an individual to deal business or transaction on behalf of the principal client. Some of the tasks or transactions that a tasked person can do include the signing of legal documents such as the deed of absolute sale, contract of sale, receive bank loan funds and the likes.
The Consularized Special Power of Attorney is different from a Notarized Power of Attorney. It’s because the former is signed abroad. This means that the CSPA is obtained from the Embassy or Philippine Consular Office where an OFW is working.
On the other hand, a Notarized Special Power of Attorney is signed only in the Philippines. This means that an OFW can apply for a Notarized SPA while staying in the Philippines and authorize a family member to handle a transaction in his or her behalf once he or she go back abroad.
Special Power of Attorney Basic requirements
The requirements that an OFW should present to the Philippine Consular Office to get a CSPA to include the following:
- Special Power of Attorney form
- Recent passport
- Government-issued IDs
It is recommended to call first the embassy and ask for the list of requirements prior to visiting the Consular Office.
Guide to apply for a Consularized Special Power of Attorney
- Ask a family member or your representative to get a Special Power of Attorney form and sign it, and send a copy of the SPA form to you.
- After receiving the form bring it to the Philippine Embassy that covers your place of work. Make sure to bring the requirements for identity verification.
- If there’s no issue about the documents, you can proceed to pay the consularization fee and it may take about 3 business days for the processing.
- Once the CSPA is released, you can send it to your representative/family member to carry out whatever transactions on your behalf.
The special power of attorney form can be downloaded here Legal_SPA-1.pdf. But, there are different forms of Special Power of Attorney corresponding to how it will be used. In fact, some Philippine embassies have specific SPA form such as in Doha, Qatar.
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Who are eligible to be a representative to use the CSPA?
For OFW, the eligible person to be authorized to use the CSPA is the immediate family member living in the Philippines. An immediate family member can be spouse, parents, children, siblings, grandparents, or other family members related to the OFW by affinity or consanguinity.
It is important that both the representative and the OFW should know that it is punishable by law if either of them falsifies or imitate the signature. According to the Revised Penal Code, anyone who participated in the falsification of the document can be imprisoned from 2 years to 6 years and pay a penalty.
The cost of getting a Consularized Special Power of Attorney varies from one country to another and the purpose of securing the document. However, the cost ranges from US$30 to US$60 or Php1, 500 to Php3, 000 to be paid in cash only. The courier fee is an additional expense in getting a CSPA.