What You Need to Know about the Special Power of Attorney

One of the most common questions asked to us is the process of applying for a loan when you are abroad. Many lenders require the OFW-borrower to be in the Philippines because of the documents that needs to be filled. Nonetheless, they understand that time is not on your side and there is a possibility that you have to go back in the middle of the application process or even before the funds are released.

What can you do? The lenders will ask you to sign a Special Power of Attorney or SPA.

Special Power of Attorney, simplified 

By definition, SPA is a type of legal document that allows you to appoint and authorize a person or an organization to handle your affairs when you are unavailable, unable to do so, or in your case, while you are abroad. The person you will assign will be called attorney-in-fact or agent and he or she will transact on your behalf.

Who can be your attorney-in-fact?

The answer is anyone, as long as you can trust him or her. He or she can be your spouse, any one of your parents, child above 18 years old, or a trusted friend or relative. There is no limitation as to who you can appoint, but make sure that person is honest and trustworthy since they are representing you.

Does the SPA have to be notarized? 

The general rule is no, the Special Power of Attorney need not be notarized to be valid; however, this rule applies ONLY when you executed the SPA in the Philippines.

What if you are abroad? Then the document must not only be notarized but also be consularized. This means the Philippine Embassy or Consul in the country where you are assigned duly certified and authenticated the SPA you executed. Otherwise, the SPA will not be binding and the lender will not allow anyone to process your loan application in the absence of this document.

For SPA to be consularized, you must comply with the following requirements:

  • Holder of Philippine passport, with the first and last page photocopied.
  • Presentation of any Philippine government ID in the absence of passport (please confirm this with the Philippine Embassy since some may require both passport and ID).
  • Personal appearance.
  • Two witnesses of legal age, who must accompany you in the Embassy to personally witness the execution of the SPA. Take note that the witnesses must also present proof of identification showing that they are of legal age.
  • Payment of notarial fee, which will vary per country.

Even if you assigned someone to transact on your behalf in connection with the loan, take note that the powers and duties are still limited. Your attorney-in-fact may receive the loan proceeds and sign documents on your behalf but s/he cannot sell any of your assets.

92 Replies to “What You Need to Know about the Special Power of Attorney”

    1. Hello Jonas. You may appoint anyone to be your attorney-in-fact; however, we recommend that this person is someone you can trust. This is why it is recommended that you go for your spouse or sibling (must be of legal age) since s/he will represent you on your behalf.

  1. What if the person in abroad will be making a SPA here in the Philiippines? She will be assigning someone to make the SPA. Is that possible?

    1. Hi Christian. If the person abroad will execute a SPA authorizing someone in the Philippines to be attorney-in-fact, that SPA must be consularized in the Philippine to make the SPA binding here in the Philippines 🙂

        1. Hello Donah. If executed abroad, the SPA must both be notarized and consularized. If SPA is executed in the Philippines, notarization is enough 🙂

  2. Hi! I understand the need of securing a notarized SPA especially in loan transactions done by an agent in favor of the principal who is abroad. This is possible for land-based workers (ofw) because they can easily go to any of the philippine consular offices in the country where they work but how about SPA’s of seafarers who have less or no time at all to go there because of round-the-clock duties inside their vessels coupled with great distance between the port and the consular offices? Pls reply thanks

    1. Hi Connie! In that case, seafarers can have the SPA notarized and consularized in any Philippine Embassy, as long as that embassy ay madadaanan ng barko nila 🙂

  3. What if in the spa stated that the principal (wife) died but the husband is still alive. Is the spa still valid? Given that both of their name is mentioned on the spa.

    1. Hi Charles! For what purpose? Also, who executed the SPA and who will be attorney-in-fact? Please take note po that the powers or duties enumerated in the SPA are only extended to the person assigned as attorney-in-fact 🙂

  4. Hello po, I just want to ask, My fiancee is a seafarer and he is not allowed nor able to embark on any country they are going in. In short po, totally barko lang po siya? How can he execute SPA po? Thank you.

  5. Hi! I’m confused. My sister is the main borrower of a loan in the Phils, and I’m (in California) is the co-borrower. She said I need an SPA appointing her. How exactly do we accomplish that? Thanks!

    1. Hi Anna! I’m confused as well 🙂 May we know the purpose as to why she needs SPA in appointing you? If you are her co-borrower, perhaps the SPA is required so that she can act on your behalf as well since you are both obligated to pay the loan. I hope this helps!

  6. The wife owns a property under PAG-IBIG and wants to sell her property under PAG-IBIG with assume balance but her husband is working in abroad. Does it necessary to get an SPA from him before taking over her property? Or is there other way?

    1. Hi Laurence. We cannot comment on this because of incomplete facts such as how and when the property was acquired by the wife or if the property was acquired prior or during the marriage. These details could be crucial since it will define whether there is a need for the husband’s consent.

    1. Hi! We think there is a desk or office specific for that purpose in Philippine Embassy. Nonetheless, it is best to call ahead and see if the person in charge is available on a certain date to be sure 🙂

  7. If I am designated agent in a General Power of Attorney, can I issue a Special Power of Attorney to another agent to act in my stead?

    1. Hi Pinky. From what we know, “what is delegated cannot be delegated again.” Though we are not a lawyer, so it is best to confirm this with someone who is knowledgeable of Philippine laws. Thanks!

  8. Pde ko ba magamit ang SPA document na e travel ang anak ko pauwi ng pinas dito kc ako nanganak sa ibang bansa nasa pinas ang tatay nya ano po ba dapat i present sa airport para madala ko pauwi anak ko ..uuwi na kc kami complito kmi sa passport

    1. Hi Kinda. We’re sorry but we’re not sure as to this procedure since we are simply a loans company. We suggest po that you present the birth certificate and passport ng anak ninyo upon check-in sa airport. The SPA simply means that you are appointing someone to act on your behalf since you cannot be physically present to do transactions yourself. Thanks!

  9. hi! I would like to ask if it’s okay po ba na more than one person po yung ilalagay sa SPA na e aapoint mo?
    thank you

    1. Hi Mary Dian. Yes, you can. Although please indicate nalang if and-or yung authority ng mga tao na ia-appoint mo sa SPA. For instance, signing documents on your behalf, please indicate that any or both attorney-in-fact must sign 🙂

    1. Hi Ems. If the purpose stated in the SPA is the same and no changes naman po sa attorney-in-fact, wala naman po issue if last year pa po ang date.

  10. My aunt is from seattle. She needs to send an SPA to be used here in Philippines. Can she have the document be notarized at their local county, then have it mailed to philippine consulate?

    1. Hi Victor! The SPA must also be consularized in the Philippine Embassy or Consulate to make it binding here in the Philippines 🙂

  11. hello,just want to ask i had a loan in taiwan for a somewhat loanshark which is also a Filipina made last 2014.already in Phils.now which still have debts not paid.im willing to pay per month but only to a certain amount i can afford but she will not agree.they plan to file a case against me but using an SPA as her mother as a representative.i signed a demand letter already but the demand letter was under the person whom i borrowed money in taiwan and no named mentioned for the mother for SPA.can this still be valid as demand letter?

    1. Hello Ech. We’re sorry to hear about this situation. Based on the facts, it could still be a valid demand letter especially if the person whom you borrowed to was the one who made the demand. Perhaps, the SPA was only intended to allow the mother to act on her behalf even if she is not the in the Philippines. I hope you can work this out so no need to go to court.

  12. Hi! My sister is currently in Dubai. Now she has some documents to be authenticated in DFA. SPA is required and I’m the one to be assigned. I’m lost as to how she’ll manage to get an SPA abroad and send the SPA document to me here in the Philipppines

    1. Hello there. She has to execute SPA in Dubai and then go to Philippine Embassy/Consulate to have it notarized and consularized. Then, she can send the documents back in the Philippines 🙂

    1. Hello Che. Is the SPA still required to do certain transactions? If yes, then you have to secure another SPA (notarized and consularized) again so that certain transactions will take place.

  13. Hello.. i bought a property in the philippines and as for now instead of a deed of sale from the owner i asked them to give me an irrevocable power of attorney to do all necessary transactions about the said property.. its not because i dont wanna pay the taxes but i didnt made up my mind yet that time if i will name the property under my mom or my son or sell the property to other person. But next year im planning to make a move of making a deed of sale to sell it or to make a deed for my mom then transfer the title to her name.. i just want to ask if everything is legal as to my plan? Or if the previous owner dies before the transfer of title will take place, will i encounter a problem with his sons and daughter since i only have the s.p.a.. the documents that i have right now are the acknowledgement of the previous owner of the money that they received from me and the notarized irrevocable s.p.a and anotation of the title.

    1. Hello Aina! We appreciate you coming to us for advice, but we are not lawyers; hence not qualified to comment on whether this move is legal or not. From our understanding, you are still not the owner of the property you bought because basing on the title, it is still not under your name and there is no Deed of Sale that signifies you are now the new owner. We suggest to consult a legal expert on this matter since they are more qualified to help you on this. Thanks!

  14. Hi,

    Just wanted to ask, the owner of the land in Philippines passed away and the land is being sold, however , based on law, mamana nung mga anak yung lupa pero wala pong kasulatan. Yung anak, 2 legitimate and 2 illegitimate, question ko po, yung isang illegitimate na anak na minor ay british citizen, can he assign his mom yung SPA para mabenta yung lupa dito sa Pilipinas? Possible po ba ito?

    1. Hello Mike. Sounds like a complicated situation for us 🙂 As much as we want to help or give advice, we are not qualified to do so because we are not lawyers 🙂 We don’t want to give any advice we’re not sure of, especially when it comes to legal matters. We suggest po you consult a lawyer since s/he is more equipped to comment on this matter. Thanks!

    1. Hi Alice. That could be possible, although it is best to specify one or two lang to make the situation less complicated 🙂 Also, you have to indicate kung AND or OR ang authority. For instance, sa pag-process ng loan application, dapat dalawang tao ang mag-aasikaso.

  15. Hi, I am an OFW and have an SPA appointing my sister to assist in renewing my daughter’s passport. I executed an SPA signed and notarized whilst I am in the Philippines. The DFA officer did not accept the SPA because they wanted an SPA authenticated by the Embassy due to the reason the parents are outside the country.
    This is from the DFA’s site requirements. ***In case applicant is not accompanied by the parent/s during the application process

    Applicant must submit a Special Power of Attorney executed by the parent/s designating the minor’s companion to assist in the application process. The Special Power of Attorney must be authenticated by the Philippine Embassy/Consulate if executed abroad**

    Can you please advise if the DFA’s request for authenticated SPA is valid? Thank you.

    1. Hello Melody. If the SPA is executed while in the Philippines, then there is no need to have it consularized since dito naman po ito ginawa. Consularization is only required IF SPA is executed abroad. Perhaps, you can show proof that the SPA was executed here by showing a photocopy of the passport bearing your date of departure as opposed to the date of notarization 🙂

      1. Thanks, Lara! Actually, I did. I included a copy of the pages of my passport with the Philippine Immigration passport stamp of the date of departure as a proof that on the day the SPA is executed, I am physically present in the country. Sad, but they need to be educated on their requirements.

  16. Hello,

    Quick question, does this pertain to non-loan transactions as well? I would like to request for my school transcripts but my school has been asking for an SPA.

    Thanks in advance!


    1. Hello Honey! Yes, SPA can be used for non-loan transactions. Just be specific on the purpose of the SPA and who will be your attorney-in-fact 🙂

  17. Hi there. My mom purchase a rights almost 20 years ago at kami na ang nagpatuloy ng bayad sa pagibig. We have the original deed of sale but Walang SPA. Hindi na namin alam kung nasaan na original na may ari. Is there any document to replace SPA in case we need to get the original title na sa Pagibig kapag na full payment na namin? Thanks in advance.

    1. Hello Marj! We apologize but we are not in the best position to provide advise on this matter because we are not PAG-IBIG. Rather, we are a fin-tech company that offers loan products and useful information for OFWs. it is best to raise this matter directly with PAG-IBIG (http://www.pagibigfund.gov.ph/contacthdmf.aspx) since they are more capable in assisting you regarding this concern. Thanks!

  18. Good day Ma’am/ Sir!

    I have a question po because my mom needs a DFA Authenticated CENOMAR and she have sent an SPA that is under my name (son) as a representative to process her documents she need however I may not be process her documents due to work schedule. Can my father process the document of my mom even though the SPA is under my name and if I could create an authorization instead for my father?

    1. Hello Denver! Apparently, you cannot assign something that is already assigned to you 🙂 The best thing to do is to execute another SPA authorizing your father to act on behalf of your mother. Take note that if the document was executed and notarized overseas, it has to be consularized as well. Hope this helps. thanks!

  19. hi, im sherwyn from iceland. . . im done with the notarial and to the ministry of foreign affairs here, can i send now my SPA to the Philippines?

    1. Hello Sherwyn. If the SPA is already notarized and consularized (which means there should also be a seal from the embassy/consulate), then yes, you can send it in the Philippines and the document is already binding 🙂

  20. hi ask lang po my boyfriend is in saudi right now. i was the one who get his backpay from his last job here in phil. it is possible for just to send him tha format of spa and make him fill up and signed it then send it here like a picture only and pa print ko lng po?

    1. Hello Jeramie! Unfortunately, SPA doesn’t work that way. Since your boyfriend is abroad and he will be the one executing the SPA, it should be notarized and consularized sa Philippine Embassy. Once done, pwede na po i-send sa Pilipinas for your perusal 🙂

  21. Hello,

    This is not loan related but still regarding an SPA. I have someone from US executing an SPA appointing a Filipino here in the Philippines to transact with the BIR related to donors taxes. Would it be possible the SPA be notarized here in the Philippines instead in abroad? and do we still need to have the SPA be consularized, if the notarization is done in the Philippines?

    1. Hi Yen! If the SPA is executed and notarized in the Philippines, there is no need to consularize it. Documents must only be consularized IF the documents were executed abroad 🙂

  22. Hello po!
    How about po if i authorized a person to get a “travel records” on my behalf, do i still need a SPA?

    1. Hello there Evamay! If the agency so requires, then yes, there must be SPA po. Otherwise, an authorization letter will do so it is best to check po with the concerned agency kung kailangan SPA 🙂

  23. Hi,

    Nagpaconsularized po ako ng SPA pero sabi sa BIR kailangan daw nakanotarized ung SPA. Ganun po ba yun? Ang sabi kasi ng consulate ung ACKNOWLEDGEMENT ay same narin sa pagkanotaryo.

      1. Hi I am from north dakota. I am looking for someone who can notarized my SPA, send it to the embassy for consularization then back to me. Can you recommend someone? Do you have any ideas of the total fees that they will be charging me? Thank you

  24. Hello my mom gave me my SPA for my passport and its not yet aunthenticated, is okay to aunthenticate it here in the Philippines or it should be aunthenticated from their Philippine Embassy? But my Mom said the Nearest Phil. Embassy there is in Washington But my mom doesnt have US Visa thats why she cant go there

    1. If the SPA was executed in the Philippines, then there is no need to consularize. All you have to do is to notarize the document to make it valid. If the SPA was made outside the Philippines, then it has to be notarized and consularized in the Philippine Embassy to make it valid and binding here 🙂

  25. Hello, nagiissue po ba ng SPA and Philippine Embassies for foreigners? Kelangan ko po kasi ng Travel records ng Japanese father ko from Buraeu of Immigration? If hindi po, saan po pwede mag issue ng SPA for foreigners?

    1. Hello Jan. From what we know, there is no “SPA for foreigners.” You can check online to get a copy or format on how to make SPA and then just fill in the details according to your desired purpose 🙂

  26. Hi..good day,sir, valid po ba yung bentahan ng lupa kung in that day..pumirma yung may ari ng property sa isang SPA para yung taong nasa SPA ang siyang pipirma sa deed of sale on that day lang din yung bentahan na nangyari? Curious lang po kasi kaya naman pumirma nung mga may ari nung lupa kasi nakapirma naman sila sa isang SPA kasi andyan lang sila..

    1. Hello! If the SPA expressly states that the attorney-in-fact can sell the property, then yes, valid ang sale and pwede din po gawin yon 🙂

  27. may title lot dito ating bansa na pag-a-ari nang isang single na american cetizen. ngayon nagbigay siya nang full P.O.A sa kanyang pamangkin na isang pinoy para ibenta itong lot. ang tanong ko po” paano ko i-verify kung genuine ang kanyang ibinigay na FULL P.O.A sa kanyang pamangkin para ibenta ang kanyang pag-a-ari na loti… sana masagot mo ang tanung ko maraming salamat po

    1. Hello Lucresio. Ang non-Filipino ay hindi po maaaring makabili at magmay-ari ng lupa sa Pilipinas at ipangalan sa kanya dahil bawal po ito ayon sa Constitution. You can start po by verifying the title + traceback para malaman kung sino ang previous owners ng nasabing lupa at i-confirm kung talagang naipagbenta sa nasabing American citizen.

  28. what if po kung ang ofw paalis palang , pwd po bang dito na mismo iapply ang spa, kasi malayo ang embassy ng pilipinas sa location ng work ko,, pag land travel 8 hrs and pag plane travel 1hr

    1. Hi Delmar! Yes, mas maganda kung magawa na sa Pilipinas ang SPA since mas mura ang fees at hindi na kailangan ng consularization 🙂 Notaryo lang at valid na ang SPA.

  29. Hello po. Ask ko lang. May SPA na po ako then may red ribbon na din from Consulate of Milan. Ngayon nung ni release wala siyang signature ng witnesses. Then sabi nila kahit papirmahan ko na lang sa dalawa kong kaibigan. Ngayon, napirmahan na kaso yung isa nagkamali po ng pirma sa principal siya nag sign. Tanggapin po kaya yun sa DFA for my birth certificate and cenomar? Nilagyan ko na lang po ng (WITNESS) kase di ko naman kasalanan yon.

    1. Hello Kay! If nailagay naman as witness, then baka tanggapin narin po yun. Anyway, ang titignan naman is kung sino ang inyong attorney-in-fact na dapat nakapirma din sa SPA 🙂

  30. pwede di bang magbigay nang SPA ang tita kong american cetizen san kanyang pamangkin na isang pilipino na hindi consularized kung dito sa pilipinas kukunin at gagawin ang SPA

    1. Hi Luke! If sa Pilipinas ginawa ang SPA, no need for it to be consularized. Pero dapat, notarized ang SPA para maging valid and binding 🙂

  31. Hello po. yung wife ko na nagresign sa company nya pero hindi npo sya nakabalik dito sa dubai due to her medical condition.kukunin po namin yung graduity nya pero hiningan po ako ng spa beneficiary as a husbund pra ako po ang kukuha..pwede ko po bang iaply dito sa phil consulate dubai ang spa kahit po nsa pilipinas ang wife ko.,hindi po sya makapagpanotarize sa pinas due to her medical condition.please advise..salamat po

    1. Hi Leo! Saan po na-execute ang SPA? If sa Pilipinas, notarized SPA is enough and yun na po ang ipapakita ninyo sa Philippine Consulate upang makuha ang benefits 🙂

  32. Hello! My aunt made me her attorney-in-fact a day before she left for Australia. Basically, the SPA is allowing me to act on her behalf on anything related to her condo like submitting documents to SMDC, signing contracts of lease (the condo is being offered as a rental unit), and accepting payments from the said contracts of lease.

    Next week, I am closing a new lease deal and will have to sign the contract as her representative through the SPA we signed. My aunt is currently in Australia right now. But we signed the SPA a day before she left Manila. In short, the SPA was executed here in the Philippines.

    In this case, is notarization of the SPA required or not?

    Thank you so much!

  33. hi, if ang property ay nasa Pinas at ang me ari ay u. s. citizen na then, she wanted to sell it. Gusto nya mag execute ng spa in favor of her son who is also a u. s. citizen and both of them are living now in america, what will be the procedure? pls. answer.. thanks

    1. Hi Daniel! We’re not familiar with this process since it involves sale of property already. It is best to consult a lawyer regarding this matter since they are more knowledgeable on this. Thanks!

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