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PIA Press Release

Machine readable passport available soon at DFA-Ilocos

San Fernando City, La Union (21 September) -- The new Machine Readable Passport will soon be available to applicants applying for a Philippine Passport for the first time and to those renewing their old passports at the Department of Foreign Affairs - Regional Consular Office-1 (DFA-RCO 1) here.

DFA regional director Eleonor B. Belgica said first timer or renewal applicants have to personally appear to sign and thumb-print their application form before a Consular Officer at DFA-RCO 1

Applicants are also required to submit three copies of their passport-size photograph taken against a royal blue background, instead of the white background required in the old system. The photograph, signature and thumbprints of the applicant will be stored in the passport database, Belgica said.

Under the new system, a Machine Generated Application Form is printed with the personal details of the applicant. The applicant has the responsibility to verify the correctness of the data printed on the form and sign it to indicate that he has read and verified the contents. Any misprint on the passport due to the applicant's fault shall be on his account, Belgica explained.

Due to the shift to a new system and the expected surge in the number of applicants, applicants are advised to apply or renew their passports way ahead of their expected date of travel.

Applicants who apply for Regular Processing can get their passports after 20 working days while those who apply for Overtime Processing can get their passports after 15 working days. Once the flow has normalized, the processing time will be reduced accordingly.

Efforts are underway to reduce the application procedure from three steps to just two steps-Processing and Payment.

Other requirements remain the same. For first time applicants, they will have to submit their NSO Birth Certificates and their documents of identity. For those renewing their passports, they have to bring old passport for cancellation.

The Passport fee remains at P500 for Regular Processing and P750 for overtime processing.

Applicants in Region 1 may apply for the new Machine Readable Passport at the DFA-RCO 1 in the City of San Fernando, LA Union after 15 November 2007.

Green or manually Scripted Passports remain valid until their expiry. (DFA-RCO 1/PIA-Pangasinan) [top]

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