DFA reminds that appointment to get passport is free service

June 18, 2010 8:23 pm 

By Gloria Jane Baylon

MANILA, June 18 — The public is reminded by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) that getting an appointment for passport processing is gratis and schemers against this free service will be punished.

There are two ways of getting an appointment: by phone 737-1000, and by logging on to www.epassport.com.ph

No DFA personnel is authorized to offer passport-related services to the public, whether inside the DFA or outside its premises.

DFA's Office of Consular Affairs (OCA) also said that even without an appointment, applicants with urgent passport requirements will be assisted as long as they submit sufficient proof of urgency.

DFA-OCA added any suspicious and anomalous offers regarding passports should immediately be reported to the Office of the Passport Director.

At the same time, DFA-OCA said that applicants located near any of the 19 Regional Consular Offices (RCOs) nationwide are encouraged to avail of the passport processing and/or renewal in those areas.

The RCOs are located in Clark Field and San Fernando City in Pampanga, Baguio, La Union, Tuguegarao, Batangas, Lucena, Puerto Princesa, Legazpi, Iloilo, Bacolod, Tacloban, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Zamboanga, Butuan, General Santos, and Cotabato,

The new and highly-secure Philippine electronic passport (epassport) with microchip is now available in these RCOs. The complete addresses are listed in the DFA website (www.dfa.gov.ph).

The e-passport is also being issued by Foreign Service Posts (FSPs) in Agana, Brunei Darussalam, Chicago, Doha, Dubai, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Kuala Lumpur, London, Los Angeles, Milan, New York, Osaka, Ottawa, San Francisco, Seoul, Tokyo, Toronto and Washington, D.C.

Meanwhile, DFA will soon reopen its Passport Extension Office (PEO) at the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) in Mandaluyong. While it is for general access, only OFWs with valid overseas employment certificates can avail of services there.

More information could be obtained by calling the PEO-POEA at (02) 722-1199.

The Philippine passport has been widely accepted by most commercial establishment as a valid government-issued identity document. (PNA)

scs/GJB

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