DFA to open main consular office on Saturdays
THE DEPARTMENT of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said it would open its main consular office in Parañaque City every Saturday starting on February 10 to process more passport applications.
“In our effort to meet the huge demand for passports, the Office of Consular Affairs in Aseana (Business Park) shall be open to passport applications every Saturday starting February 10 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” the DFA announced.
Walk-in applicants, including those entitled to the “courtesy lane” window, would not be entertained on Saturdays, the DFA said.
Other consular services, such as authentication of documents, would also not be available on Saturdays, it added.
The move came amid complaints that it took several months to secure online appointments to apply for new or renew passports.
DFA satellite offices in shopping malls have already been operating from Monday to Saturday.
The DFA said it would continue to deploy its passport processing vans weekly and would soon open eight more consular offices to handle more passport applications.
The DFA issues at least 10,000 up to 12,000 passports each day through its 21 regional consular offices around the country and six satellite consular offices in Metro Manila.
The DFA issued 3.1 million passports in 2016.
The passport fee is P1,200 for “express” processing of 10 working days and P950 for “normal” processing of 20 working days.
Those who need to apply for new or renew their passports have to get an appointment via the website, passport.gov.ph. The appointments are free and the DFA had warned against dealing with fixers.
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