The Department of Foreign Affairs in Dumaguete City called off plans to put up a passporting office because of cuts in its budget, Joselito Blas of the DFA regional consular office in Bacolod City, said.
Blas, who headed an eight-man team who conducted passport mobile services in Dumaguete over the weekend, said the plan was discussed with Assistant Secretary Villapando when he was still assigned in HongKong.
When Congress cut the DFA budget by 40 percent, one of the services affected was the establishment of passporting offices in the provinces.
However, Blas said, it depends on Negrenses to pressure their representatives in Congress to push and lobby for its establishment in Negros Oriental.
More than 600 Dumagueteños and Negrenses availed of the two-day second mobile passporting conducted at the Robinsons mall in the city.
Blas said the DFA is helping relatives of Overseas Filipino Workers who are no longer sending money to their folks in the Philippines. He said all they have to do is come to the DFA office, fill up a form, and DFA will locate their relatives abroad and inform them of their responsibilities back home.
The second mobile passporting in Dumaguete had been requested by Mayor Manuel Sagarbarria who underwrote their accommodation.*JG
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