MANILA, Oct 13 (Mabuhay) — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has opened up more passport appointment slots starting this week up to December 2022.

REFURBISHED. Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo (2nd from left), Assistant Secretary Henry Bensurto Jr. (right), and Undersecretary Antonio Morales (left) lead the ribbon cutting ceremony of refurbished facilities of the Office of Consular Affairs at Aseana Business Park in Paranaque City on Wednesday (Oct. 12, 2022). Improving the amenities of the office is to provide better services to the transacting public. (MNS photo)

Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo on Wednesday said at least 803,000 slots were made available as part of DFA’s efforts to improve current consular services.

On top of this, the DFA is planning to open around 300,000 more slots before the end of the year, he added.

In a DFA event in Parañaque City, Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs Henry Bensurto Jr. said slots were only good for two weeks prior to the opening of more than 800,000 appointment slots.

“I think it was very important to stretch, streamline and tinker the process, the system itself to allow us to open the slots all the way to December. So that’s how we were able to do it essentially,” he told reporters.

Aside from easing the passport backlog, the DFA also unveiled on Wednesday its refurbished facilities in Aseana, including new escalators and elevators. (MNS)