DFA to bare new rules on travel agency accreditation
MANILA, Philippines – New guidelines on travel agency accreditation will be released next week as the Department of Foreign Affairs seeks to improve the delivery of passport and other consular services to the public.
“We in the Department of Foreign Affairs have been working hard to fulfill our commitment to deliver fast and efficient services to as many of our people as possible,” Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Rafael Seguis said.
Seguis said the new guidelines will complement the steps that have been undertaken by the DFA to improve its services such as the transfer of its consular offices to shopping malls in Metro Manila and in other parts of the country.
“Our people can look forward to better services once we transfer our consular offices to their new locations inside shopping malls in the next several months,” Seguis said.
According to Seguis, the new guidelines are the result of a review of the directive on the accreditation of travel agencies in the regions that the DFA issued on May 2.
He said the guidelines also took into account the appeals for reconsideration of the directive made by the Philippine Travel Agency Association, the Philippine IATA Agents Travel Association, the National Association of Independent Travel Agencies and other stakeholders.
The DFA, in its May 2 directive, instructed its consular offices nationwide to no longer accredit travel agencies offering passport services effective June 30, 2012 and to remove the special privileges enjoyed by accredited agencies such as guaranteed slots and express processing for their clients.
“The directive was issued simply to ensure that all passport applicants, regardless of their social status, get to experience the same privileges but at no additional cost to them,” said Seguis.
He added that the DFA has no plans of increasing passport processing fees which remain at P950 for regular processing and P1,200 for expedited processing.