Good news to those planning to apply or renew their passports!
The Department of Foreign Affairs has announced that it has opened additional slots to accommodate more applications. DFA Assistant Secretary Frank Cimafranca of the Office of Consular Affairs confirmed that an additional 94,350 slots are now available from July to August. Thousand more slots have also opened on August 25 for additional September appointments.
According to Cimafranca, the opening of more slots were made possible when DFA increased their consular offices’ appointment quotas, cleaning up of bogus appointments and an increase in personnel working on the applications.
To help open more slots, senior citizens, persons with disabilities, solo parents, pregnant women, and children seven years old and below no longer need to set up an an appointment but can use the courtesy lane in the offices.
Cimafranca also cited the huge difference it made when they added more personnel. In the DFA’s main processing center for passports, there was a significant increase by 73.6 percent in the processing of daily appointments. That’s from 1,900 to 3,300 applications daily.
These changes are all part of the reform that the DFA has been working on. Cimafranca said, “Let’s take one step at a time. But so far, so good.”
He continued to discourage the use of fixers and report any. He also reminded that setting up an appointment is still free of charge. You can also reach the DFA Home office through their official website and their hotlines: www.dfa.gov.ph (02) 834-3000 / (02) 834-4000