DFA offices to be transferred in malls; e-passport processing made easyBy Totel V. de Jesus
MANILA, Philippines—Transactions with the Department of Foreign Affairs will soon be made more accessible to the public via malls nationwide, said Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Jet Leda in an interview over Radyo Inquirer early Sunday.
“Through the public-private partnership (PPP) program of President Aquino, we are talking with Ayala, Robinsons, SM and Gaisano mall owners to have our satellite offices in their malls nationwide. So instead of going to our office on Diosdado Macapagal Avenue in Pasay City, you can just include your visit to our satellite office while shopping,” Leda told co-anchors Ricky Brozas and Liza Soriano in a phone interview.
He said appointments can still be made online for application of a new passport for first-timers or renewal of the e-passport for existing passport holders. The same fees apply, P950 for regular and P1,250 for express processing.
He also explained the phase-out of the old passport. “All countries have shifted to machine-type document and we are complying with this international standard. So yung mga lumang passport, mga green, mawawala na yan,” he said.
Leda also tackled the public bidding process following the alleged anomalies in the multi-million peso passport deal entered by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas into the DFA.
“There’s no conflict between the BSP and DFA. The e-passport project has always gone through a transparent process. All procedures dinaanan sa tamang proseso. Patuloy po ito sa regular procurement, bidding of supplies and services,” he said.
“This particular service is very important and it shouldn’t be tainted with irregularities. We assure that,” Leda said.
For the full interview, listen to the attached audio clip from Radyo Inquirer 990AM.