The Department of Foreign Affairs is set to make an announcement soon, amid mounting complaints that appointments made online are fully booked until March for those planning to get or renew their Philippine passports.
DFA Bacolod officer-in-charge Carolina Constantino yesterday said she is requesting the public to be a little bit more patient as she was informed that an official announcement from the top officials of the department will be made at the end of this week or next week.
Meanwhile, she said the DFA Bacolod is still accepting walk-in passport applicants.
“We never turn down anybody without explaining to them the reasons, or the means, by which they can come in,” she said.
Walk-ins are allowed for seniors, minors, pregnant women, people with disabilities, and solo parents, she said.
She said their courtesy lane also processespassport applications of Overseas Filipino Workers, those who need to make medical emergency trips, especially to be with family members who are ill, and those going on official or business trips.
Despite a lean staff the DFA Bacolod continuous to process an average of 250 passport applications a day, she said.
The DFA also acts on complaints within 72 hours, she assured.
Complaints have been made that appointments for passport applications were being blocked off by travel agencies.
Constantino said the online appointments system for passport applicationsare being done by the same company that prints the passports, not by the DFA.
The DFA Bacolod office only gets the list of appointments 2 days before they are actually set, she added.
She said those who wish to get their passports released in 10 days have to pay a fee of P1,200 and those who can wait 20 days pay only P950.
She said that from Jan. 3 to 6, the DFA Bacolod processed 1,741 passport applicants and rejected 12.
There were 344 who obtained online appointments and 259, or 76.17 percent showed up, she said.*CPG
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