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DFA asked to probe passport delays

Sen. Grace Poe yesterday asked the Department of Foreign Affairs to provide immediate solutions to passport processing delays affecting thousands of applicants.

According to her, the two-month waiting time for the issuance by the DFA of passports is totally unacceptable.

Poe said she was constrained to seek answers from the DFA after her office received various complaints from passport applicants which range from long waiting time and failure to receive confirmation code through e-mail on the date of the electronic passport appointment.

“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,” she said.

President Duterte had earlier said he wanted to stop long queues for passport applicants at DFA processing centers.

DFA Secretary Perfecto Yasay had said the first marching order he received from Duterte 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 at Aseana on Macapagal Ave., participating regional consular offices, and satellite offices.

Around 15,000 Filipinos apply for a passport every day. (Mario B. Casayuran)