- Sec. Alan Peter Cayetano clarifies that travel agencies are not allowed to “sell” appointment slots for passport applications
- He insists that travel agencies were not given slots, so they don’t have slots to sell
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano vehemently denied that there is a “syndicate” that works with their personnel to allow travel agencies to “sell” more appointment slots for passport applications.
Sec. Cayetano made clarifications that the Department of Foreign Affairs no longer gives appointment slots to travel agencies. Previously, in the old system, they give 1,200 slots a day to travel agencies but that was abolished last year.
He was quoted by GMA saying, “Di namin sinasabing imposibleng may nanloloko, na sinasabing may slot sila. Anybody can say anything. Ang sinasabi ko, wala silang slot, kaya wala silang ibebenta sa inyo.” [We’re not saying that there are no scammers, who say they have slots. Anybody can say anything. What I’m saying is that they don’t have slots, so they don’t have anything to sell to you.]
Sec. Cayetano challenged anyone to provide evidence or “give us the lead” about accusations that the DFA is in connivance with travel agencies. Moreover, he promised that they are doing their best to fix the system.
The DFA came under fire after people started complaining that the appointment slots for passport applications are always fully booked on the website. However, when you try to book through travel agencies with a fee, there are always available slots and that sometimes you even get to choose the date you prefer.