Passport on Wheels starts offering services to applicants at SM Seaside mall
CEBU CITY—The Department of Foreign Affair (DFA) launched the second Passport on Wheels (POW) in Cebu City at the SM Seaside mall in the South Road Properties on Monday afternoon, February 4.
The POW is an offsite processing center of the DFA which accepts processing of new passports or passport renewal based on DFA appointment online.
Two POWs were set up at the upper ground floor of the mall accessed through its Mountainwing where a receiving area and DFA personnel will guide the applicants through the process.
It is expected to cater to at least 1200 applicants per day from February 4 to February 28 totalling to more than 30,000 applications.
DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin said in his speech that since POW’s primary launch in 2018, the DFA has served 284 sites and issued 218,266 passports under the program.
The current eight mega vans of DFA serve as the mobile centers for passport processing distributed all over the country capable of processing 1,000 applicants per day.
The mega vans are equipped with mobile WiFi and can traverse different kinds terrain and reach remote places to bring the DFA services to areas without consular offices.
Recently, DFA acquired two more mega vans which are currently being parked at the SM Seaside upper ground floor exterior grounds where the POW is set up.
“We want to reach remote places in the country to make sure that the Filipino’s constitutional right to travel is not just a pipe dream but a convenient reality,” said Locisn
Locsin said that the two mega vans at SM Seaside City-Cebu is simply augmentations to the Mandaue Consular Office’s operations and an opportunity to open up more passport appointment slots.
He added that the POW is only meant to be be a temporary constructive measure to address the immediate need for passport services in Cebu.
“The DFA is working on a more permanent and long-term solution, which is the opening of additional consular offices all over the country, including Cebu and other spots in the Visayas,” said Locsin.
To avail of the services of the POW, individuals or groups may book an appointment at the DFA website, and comply with the requirements for the passport processing listed in the online application. /dbs
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