Pinoys in Sabah told: Beware of unaccredited agencies

Posted at 05/09/14 1:36 PM

MANILA - Filipinos in Sabah need not transact with alleged agencies just to avail of the consular services of the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

The embassy issued the clarification after it learned that an agency called "Who's The Boss" and its so-called Sabah Philippine Overseas Workers Welfare Association (SPOWWA) continue to victimize Filipinos in Sabah.

"We ask our nationals in Sabah to first check with the Embassy if an agent offering consular services to them is accredited with us," Consul General Medardo Macaraig said.

The said agency asks for money from potential victims for facilitating the issuance of Philippine passports, birth certificates and work permits.

"We would like to reiterate that 'Who's the Boss' and SPOWWA are not accredited with, nor recognized by the Embassy, and they are also not authorized to conduct consular services for Filipinos in Sabah. In this regard, any transaction with them may put our nationals at risk," Macaraig said.

They also learned that the two outfits spread misinformation that applicants need to go through agencies before they could avail of consular services.

"They can just approach our consular teams with their completed forms and requirements, and directly deal with Embassy officials on their passport and other applications. Also, Filipino community members should remit any payment to the Embassy's Collecting Officer, who is there at the venue," Consul General Macaraig stated.

The fee for new passport applications and passport renewals is RM231 only, while that to replace lost passports is RM346.50 (for green and machine-readable passports) and RM577.50 (for ePassport).

The embassy's tentative schedules for its consular missions in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan are available in the Embassy's website and Facebook page. The exact venues of these missions will be announced once they are available.