DFA passport appointment slots Announcement draws criticisms.
MANILA, Philippines – Many Filipinos were overjoyed after the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced Thursday, June 14, that it would be opening 100,000 appointment slots for passport applications.
However, the campaign drew flak from netizens just a night after the announcement. A number of passport applicants vented their anger and dismay on social media because, after so many months of waiting, they still haven’t had the chance to book for an appointment.
DFA passport appointment slots
On DFA’s official Facebook page, a various speculations and accusations were posted.
One doubted if the number of opened slots were indeed 100,000.
Some accused travel agencies of hoarding the appointment slots.
One netizen alleged that an appointment slot is being sold for P5,000.
One suggested it is better to revert to the walk-in application so that applicants will be forced to come early at consular offices.
DFA is yet to comment on the complaints.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has made available 100,000 appointment slots for passport applications on June 14; fifty thousand of which were opened at exactly 9:00 p.m.
The DFA also vowed to open 10,000 slots everyday from Mondays to Saturdays, except holidays.
Meanwhile, the agency is still investigating employees who are said to be conspiring with a syndicate that sells passport appointment slots.
“Whether sa Facebook niyo nakita , sa text o anuman, kapag may nag-offer sa inyo na may bayad, mapapabilis ang passport, ipaalam niyo sa amin para ma-entrap natin,” said DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano.
On Thursday, June 14, DFA also launched the passport e-payment system in its consular office in ASEANA Pasay City.
The agency targets to implement the system in the entire National Capital Region (NCR) next month and eventually nationwide come August.
The system is expected to make the passport application process more efficient and faster. Applicants just need to log on to www.passport.gov.ph and secure an appointment slot. Move to the next step and choose your preferred payment center. Once paid, you will receive an acknowledgement through e-mail. Applicants should arrive on the appointment date and present the required documents for passport application.
DFA said there are no changes in the rate of passport application except for the P50 additional charge if you choose to pay via payment center.
The agency is confident that the e-payment scheme will help curb selling of appointment slots and will also “discourage or minimize the hoarding of appointment slots,” according to DFA Assistant Secretary Frank Cimafranca. – Nel Maribojoc / Marje Pelayo