MANILA - The Department of Foreign Affairs has tapped the University of the Philippines to work on a research that will project demands for passports in the next 10 years.
DFA assistant secretary Frank Cimafranca said the partnership with statistical experts from UP is primarily intended for budgeting purposes as well as for planning and programming of future expansion as it increases capacity to meet any anticipated brim in the passport demand.
“After what we have experienced in the past and the current difficulties we are facing at present, we cannot afford to stay complacent and simply react to problems when they arise," he said in a statement Saturday.
“We must be able to anticipate them and always have measures in place to counter any risks," he added.
For 2018, the agency plans to put up eight additional consular offices nationwide to fill the gap brought by the lack of capacity in processing passports.
At present, there are 27 consular offices, including the DFA-Aseana, with an overall capacity of processing 9,000 passports a day.
Cimafranca said the demand now reaches 12,000 a day. “We have to really resolve that by increasing capacity drastically,” he added.
He said the only way to do so was to provide a long-term solution, and that is by opening new consular offices, especially in populated areas and provinces surrounding Metro Manila.
Cimafranca said the commissioned study is expected to conclude by March in time for the DFA to present its budget to the Department of Budget and Management then to Congress.*PNA
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