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Just Added: 100,000 Passport Appointment Slots, Gone?

 Manila, Philippines.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) came under fire early January 2018 as Netizens caused an uproar on the great difficulty of acquiring Philippine passport appointments for both new and renewals. It has been an excruciating experience for most, especially to those who are going abroad in 2-3 weeks time. The reason --- all slots for the months of January, February and March 2018 were already filled since the start of the year.

As of January 23, 2018 an additional 100,000 passport appointment slots for February to May 2018 were opened, as per the Foreign Affairs Department. Somehow, that should ease the tension brought about by news of hoarding from fixers and syndicates who are deemed responsible for the difficulty in securing reservations.  

But lo-and-behold! As of this posting, there are no more appointment slots up until end of June 2018. When you log-on to the passport reservations website, which is now state-owned and run by Apo Production Unit, Inc., here is what you will get:

There are reports that syndicates are preying on appointment seekers, most of which take their trade via Facebook and other social media websites, advertising fast and rush passports for the amounts ranging from PhP5,000 to PhP10,000. Absurd as it is, some people take the chance of paying the amounts just to get their passports done.

By the start of January 2018, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) through Republic Act 10928 as signed and approved by President Rodrigo Duterte, will issue Philippine Passports with a validity of 10 years. Regular processing for passports is still pegged at twenty (20) working days and priced at PhP950.00, while express processing runs for ten (10) working days at PhP1,200.00 fee.

Exempted from the hassle of securing online appointments via priority lanes in both consular and satellite offices are the following:

1     1. Persons with Disabilities (PWD) must have PWD ID, or those with visibility disabilities
2     2. Senior Citizens must also present their Senior Citizen ID
3     3. Solo Parents having a valid Solo Parent ID
4     4. Pregnant Women must secure and present a valid medical certificate
5     5.  Minors/Children ages seven (7) and below.

For Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) with valid employment contracts, bring supporting documents and go straight to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) office in Ortigas, Mandaluyong City.

Here's to hoping that the DFA would not just look into the appointment slot hoarding, but also actively create a counter-intelligence who will follow-through such efforts for the benefit of the Filipino people.

The Keen Observer is a non-partisan, non-political view of current and trending news in and around the Metro. The views expressed herein are insights on persons, places and events, having social relevance in nature, and may directly or indirectly affect people’s lives. It is not our intent to support nor contradict any factions or organizations, but simply show the facts as they happen. 

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