Quote for the Week..

"Why are the country’s political leaders quick to act on amending the Constitution to change nationalistic provisions for the benefit of foreigners or to extend their terms of office but are allergic to amending the Constitution to address the people’s aspirations for self-determination?" - Marvic Leonen,Dean of the UP College of Law, in a keynote address delivered at the 1st International Solidarity Conference on Mindanao; March 16-18, 2009 in Davao City, Philippines.


Friday, May 22, 2009

RP’s driver’s license honored in Belgium

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has finally entered into an administrative arrangement with the Belgian government to honor the driver’s licenses issued in the Philippines. Because of this, Filipinos who are living and/or working in Belgium can now exchange their valid Philippine driver’s license with Belgian license without the need to take any written and practical examinations.

This arrangement has been under discussion for the least eight years, before it was finally implemented last April 22. Before the implementation, Filipinos living in Belgium were required to take written and practical examinations in either French or Dutch/Flemish to obtain Belgian driver’s license. Those who wanted to take the exam in English are made to pay a translation fee of €50.

Filipinos who did not want to take the exam then were still allowed to drive around in Belgium, provided that they have an international driver’s license issued in the Philippines.

The requirements for exchanging the Philippine driver’s license to the Belgian driver’s license are: a valid Philippine driver’s license; Belgian identity card or work permit; one passport-size photo; and a fee of €16. Other requirements may also be asked by the Belgian authority as deemed necessary.

Likewise, Belgian nationals living in the Philippines can exchange their valid Belgian driver’s license for a Philippine driver’s license at any Land Transportation Office (LTO) in the Philippines.

For more information, Filipinos in Belgium can visit the Federal Public Service, Mobility and Transport website at the www.mobility.fgov.be or contact their local commune.

Philippine Ambassador to Belgium Cristina Ortega reported that husband and wife Alex and Jovelle Fernandez were the first Filipino expatriates to get their Belgian driver’s license under the new arrangement last April 22. “They had absolutely no trouble. They simply presented the requirement including their valid Philippine driver’s licenses at their local commune, and a week later, they received their Belgian driver’s licenses,” she added.

The LTO submitted to the Belgian Embassy a list of security features with which the Belgian official can check the validity of the driver’s license. (Source: Pinoy Business)

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