DFA heeds appeal of Aklanons; will conduct mobile passport service in Aklan
by Venus G. Villanueva
Kalibo, Aklan (24 September) -- In aiming to serve Aklanons right at their doorsteps and serving them with the least expenses incurred on their (Aklanons) part, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) will be conducting in Aklan on October 25-26 of this year its eighth (8th) One Stop Mobile Passport Service here.
The conduct of the Mobile Passport Service here this year has been much awaited by Aklanons as they could save much in terms of money and travel time in going to and back from Iloilo City twice in a row – first to apply, and then to claim their passports.
Seeing this need and knowing that the DFA service will benefit many Aklanons who are potential Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) with some already ex-abroad and needing to renew their passports – Aklan Governor Carlito Marquez made the necessary representation to the DFA for the conduct of the Mobile Passport Service here next month.
The DFA was anticipating that a new passport – the Machine Readable Passport (MRP) will be implemented this year. However, during her recent visit to DFA-Iloilo, Vivian R. Solano, Aklan's Provincial Employment Service Office (PESO) Manager said the new DFA Regional Director, Victor A. Española told her that the implementation of the MRP will be on March or April yet of 2008, thus the decision to hold the passport service in Aklan in October. The passports to be issued will still be the old type, according to Solano.
With the schedule, PESO-Aklan here, under Solano, has started giving application forms and confirmation numbers to those applying for passports. Those who lost their passports, or whose passports were burned, will also be entertained by PESO-Aklan, according to Solano.
"The PESO staff will be giving a list of requirements for new and expired passports. If the requirements are completed, applicants will be given application forms to be filled up, and then will be given confirmation numbers. The confirmation number will be used by the applicant when lining up upon the arrival of the Mobile Passport Service Team from the DFA. Those who are not holding confirmation numbers will not be allowed to join the line," Solano stressed.
Since 2001, the DFA has conducted a total of seven (7) One-Stop Mobile Passport Services in Aklan, issuing a total of 3,008 passports to Aklanons. This year, the DFA and the Provincial Government of Aklan anticipates that a big number of Aklanons will be availing of the rare opportunity. (PIA) [top]