SENATOR Grace Poe called on the Department of Foreign Affairs to look into complaints of passport applicants ranging from long waiting time to problems in the ePassport system.
Poe received several complaints and asked the DFA to provide immediate solutions to passport processing delays affecting thousands of applicants, saying that waiting for about two months for passport application is unacceptable.
“This has been one of the problems of the DFA for years now which results in missed opportunities for Pinoys wanting to visit their families abroad, those seeking for immediate medical treatment and especially aspiring overseas Filipino workers who have to wait for several days just to get this most basic document required of every Filipino in this age of globalization,” said Poe.
The senator said other concerns were failure to receive confirmation code thru e-mail as to the date of the electronic passport appointment.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said he wanted to stop long queues for passport applicants at DFA processing centers.
Around 15,000 Filipinos apply for a passport every day.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay had said the first marching order he received from the President was to improve services for OFWs, including “cutting red tape” in the issuance of travel documents, passports and other documents needed for the free passage and travel of people.
Passport applicants need to call the DFA hotline or visit the DFA’s online application system website and book a preferred date and selected time for personal appearance and submission of pertinent documents at the DFA Manila in Aseana, Macapagal Avenue, participating regional consular offices and satellite offices.
The DFA shifted its passport printing from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to the APO Production Unit, a state-run printing facility.