Passport appointment backlog cut in half – Cayetano
The waiting time to get an online appointment for passport application or renewal has been cut in half, according to Foreign Secretary Alan Cayetano.
“From three months waiting to get an appointment, we are now at six weeks,” Cayetano told reporters on Wednesday.
But he admitted that six weeks still was “not enough” even as he announced that the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) would open seven to nine new consular offices next year to accommodate more passport applicants.
Cayetano said the DFA would also deploy four vans that were specially fitted with five machines each. Each machine can produce 80 to 100 passports a day, he said.
Increase in applications
The DFA issues 10,000 to 12,000 passports daily through its 21 regional consular offices around the country and six satellite consular offices in Metro Manila.
Cayetano admitted that the DFA failed to anticipate the “huge increase” in passport applications.
The DFA issued 3.1 million passports in 2016.
Cayetano earlier announced that starting next year, passport applicants would have to pay either half or the full passport processing fee through the banks upon making an appointment.
He said those who do not show up on their appointed schedule could not have a refund to discourage the high percentage of no-shows, which he estimates to be around 40 percent.
The passport fee is P1,200 for “express” processing of 10 working days, and P950 for “normal” processing of 20 working days.
Passport applicants may get an appointment through the website passport.gov.ph.
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