MANILA, Philippines - Gone are the days of waking up very early in the morning just to be the first in line to apply for a passport in Pasay City.
"Iba na ang proseso," said Director Andre Estanislao of the DFA's Passport Division.
People who plan to apply for a passport often hear the stories of family and friends who braved the heat or rain and those who tapped the illegal services of fixers just to cut the waiting time at the DFA.
"Ngayon, by appointment na ang pagpa-passport sa NCR (National Capital Region)," Estanislao said.
By appointment, Estanislao means that applicants would either have to log on to http://passport.com.ph for DFA-OCA Aseana; http://megamall.passport.com.ph for DFA NCR-East; http://galleria.passport.com.ph for DFA NCR-Central; and http://manila.passport.com.ph for DFA NCR-West; or call the hotline at 737-1000 to set up an appointment.
Special lanes for senior citizens, infants and minors below one year old, persons with disabilities (PWD), and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are also available.
"Tapos pipili kayo ng araw at oras ng appointment ninyo. Nakalista na din doon lahat ng requirements," he said.
When an appointment has been scheduled, Estanislao reminded applicants not to forget to bring the needed documents to support their application.
“Pag new applicant, ang pinaka-importante ang birth certificate sa NSO (National Statistics Office). Para mapatunayan na kayo ang nasa birth certificate, kailangang i-supplement ito ng mga valid IDs,” he said.
Among the valid government identification cards that the DFA honors are driver’s license, PRC license, Social Security System ID, voter’s registration, and school IDs for minors.
Even a school yearbook could be used as a supporting document.
“A yearbook is a very good form of identification,” he said.
However, they do not honor a postal or PhilHealth ID. “May mga cases din ng assumed identity so medyo naghihigpit din po tayo dyan,” he said.
For passport renewal, an applicant need only to bring the old expired or about to expire passport and have the front and back data page photocopied when they go to the DFA Office on their appointment date.
“Pwede nyong dalin ang passport niyo pag paso na siya or pag meron na siyang 6 months before expiry. At least one year pwede nang i-renew ang passport,” he said.
The applicant then would have to proceed to consular office of his choice for the processing of the application.
“After ma-process, we try to give it one hour from start to finish, pagkatapos po releasing depende sa gusto nyong bayaran. Pwedeng mag bayad ng P950 makukuha ang passport in 15 working days; express fee P1,200 makukuha in 7 working days,” he said.
The applicant also has the option to have the passport delivered to his/her home.
“Dagdagan nyo lang ng P120 pwede nang ipa-deliver kahit saan sa buong Pilipinas,” he said. with reports from DZMM