DFA seeks better passport appointment system

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced on Thursday that it is now working to make the appointment system on passport applications more efficient to the people.

Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs Henry Bensurto Jr. said that they are speeding up the application process and address concerns such as lack of appointment slots.

“Obviously to address this matter, there are other possibilities that we can do, such as the possibility of having more offsite and this is very much in the equation obviously because this includes budgetary support from Congress,” Bensurto said.

He added that they also made a budgetary request before Congress on addressing the concerns such as setting up more offsite locations and opening more Consular Offices.

“We have put this as well on our proposed budget and hopefully we could have more offsites. At the same to make sure that we were able to serve people especially in the provinces because we know and understand that the distance somehow impacts on their resources,” he added.

The DFA official disclosed that it is currently issuing 20,000 passports on daily from 85 foreign service posts and 35 consular offices nationwide — six are in the National Capital Region (NCR), 17 in Luzon, five in Visayas and seven in Mindanao.

They also plan to put up three additional consular offices before the end of the year in Olongapo City, San Jose, Antique and Pagadian, Zamboanga del Sur.

The DFA has also 20 Temporary Off-site Passport Service or TOPS nationwide — nine in NCR, six in Luzon, three in Visayas and two in Mindanao.

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