DFA says passport appointment slots are free, warns public of scams
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Friday reminded the public that passport appointment slots are free as it warned against scams offering appointments online for a fee.
“Itong mga ‘professional passport appointment setters’ na ito ay mago-offer ng mga services sa social media,” Acting Assistant Secretary Senen Mangalile of the DFA Office of Consular Affairs (OCA) told reporters in an online briefing.
(These ‘professional passport appointment setters’ offer their services on social media.)
“Gusto natin ipaalala sa ating mga aplikante: Passport appointment slots are free. Wala pong bayad mag-set ng appointment sa DFA passport website at doon lamang available ang passport appointments and in no other place,” he added.
(We want to remind our applicants: Passport appointment slots are free. There is no need to pay for an appointment on the DFA website, which is the only place to set an appointment and.)
“Hinihinling natin sa mga kababayan, ‘wag pumatol sa mga [We appeal to the public not to patronize these] passport appointment setters for their own protection,” he further said.
According to Mangalile, the DFA is looking into how these scammers are able to book slots in bulk for their clients.
“[Ang] serbisyo na inaalok [nila] ay mag-set ng appointment once magbukas yung ating slots at nagaabangan talaga sila then kukunin nila [The service they offer is they will set an appointment once the slots open],” he said.
“Sa tingin namin kaya nila nala-lock yung mga passport [slots] ay dahil sa paggamit nila ng mga web applications. Inaayos na po ng ating tech yung ating sistema [para] hindi mapasok,” he added.
(We believe they are able to lock in these passport slots using web applications. Our tech people are checking our system so that it can’t be breached.)
Slots for OFWs
Meanwhile, the DFA official added that overseas Filipino workers (OFW) who are in urgent need of their passports for their deployment abroad can apply for the use of the OCA’s courtesy lane.
“They need to send an email for them to be scheduled because we don’t allow walkthroughs due to protocols,” he said.
“Yung nage-email sa courtesy lane, binibigyan natin ng appointments based on their urgency. Kung talagang malapit na yung kanilang deployment, nilalagay sa courtesy lane,” Mangalile added.
(Those who send emails to us, we will give them appointments based on their urgency. If their deployment is near, they can avail of the courtesy lane.)
Those who want to apply for the use of the courtesy lane can send an email at [email protected]
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