DFA Opens Thousands of Appointment Slots for Passport Application and Renewal
Date Posted: 08/25/2017
24 August 2017 — Thousands of appointment slots are now available to those who wish to apply for and renew their passports, after the Department of Foreign Affairs implemented sweeping reforms.
Assistant Secretary Frank Cimafranca of the Office of Consular Affairs said an additional 94,350 slots were opened from July to August, while thousands more will be opened tomorrow, Aug. 25, for September appointments.
According to Cimafranca, of the slots opened last month, the 62,450 additional slots were made available after the DFA increased the consular offices’ appointment quotas, while the remaining 31,900 came from the cleaning up of bogus appointments created by unscrupulous individuals.
“The goal is to serve as many people as we can efficiently and effectively, so those slots had to be cleaned up. And that’s what we did,” he said.
He said the increase in additional slots has been complemented by an increase in personnel in charge of processing documents.
For example, in the Aseana office, the DFA’s main processing center for passports, he said the increase in personnel has resulted in a 73.6 percent increase in the capacity to accept and process daily appointments—from 1,900 to 3,300.
The increase in personnel has also led to the moving up to earlier dates of about 900 appointments, and has resulted in the reduction of suspended applications under investigation—from 33,000 on Aug. 2 to zero (0) as of Aug. 18, Cimafranca said.
“Let’s take one step at a time. But so far, so good,” he added.
To prevent the unnecessary use of slots, Cimafranca issued the reminder that senior citizens, persons with disabilities, solo parents, pregnant women and minors (seven years old and below) may just walk in without prior appointment with the DFA when renewing or applying for passports.
Cimafranca said they may use the courtesy lane upon arrival, and make a presentation of their respective IDs. Cimafranca also reminded the public that the appointment slots are free.
He said fixers should not be entertained.
Published Date: August 24, 2017