MANILA, Aug 12 (Mabuhay) — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Thursday promised to speed up the passport process by introducing measures to improve the current appointment system.
In cases of errors in filling up forms, the current system prevents corrections on-site leaving the applicant no choice but to apply for the second time.
“This is something that has immediately caught our attention and I thought we have to address this quickly. And lastly, I have already made instruction to start the process of simplifying this, allowing the system to make that correction on the spot based on the documents that are presented,” new Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs Henry Bensurto Jr. told reporters in a presser.
This could take time, but Bensurto said the system would be fixed no later than October 2022.
The official added that the agency is looking at other strategies to accommodate more applicants, including loading additional appointment slots and establishing more temporary offsite passport services centers and consular offices.
In the following days, Bensurto said they would inaugurate a new consular office in Kidapawan, raising the number across the country to 36.
“Obviously, when we look at the system, there are short-term things that you can do, medium-term, and there’s also the long-term. And so we continue to assess the long-term strategy on how to simplify this and we continue to do that, with the end in view that we can make that process more efficient,” he said.
On a global scale, the DFA and its foreign service posts abroad issue up to 20,000 Philippine passports daily. (MNS)