DFA satellite offices being mulled in Region l
By Danny O Sagun
DAGUPAN CITY (28 September) -- The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is considering requests for the establishment of field consular offices, according to Regional Director Eleonor Belgica.
Belgica said however that satellite offices will be put in place instead of regular offices. A DFA employee will be assigned at the satellite office to receive applications for passports. In this way, people from far-flung areas would no longer travel that far to the regional office in San Fernando City in La Union just to file their applications.
She told the Pantongtongan Tayo radio program of the Philippine Information Agency over Radyo ng Bayan-DZMQ last Tuesday that her office was considering Pangasinan in the plan to put up satellite offices around the region considering its size and population.
The department is also conducting so-called mobile passport processing, she said. A team will be sent to Alaminos City on October 5 and 6 to hold such activity. Processing of passports is done in just one day.
Some 500 people come to the consular office in La Union daily to file and claim their passports, she said. Processing is completed in five working days.
The machine readable passport, meanwhile, will be made available after November 16. Such internationally-accepted passport is more secured than the present one being issued, she noted.
Passport fee remains at P500 for the regular processing in 20 working days and P750 for the overtime processing in 15 days. She advised applicants to apply or renew their passports ahead of their expected travel.
Processing time will reduce considerably once the flow has normalized, she assured.
Applicants are required to submit three copies of passport-size photos taken against a royal blue background. First time applicants have to submit their birth certificates from the National Statistics Office and other documents proving their identity like ID cards.
Those renewing theirs have to bring their old passports for cancellation.
Manually-scripted passports remain valid until their expiry dates. (DOS/PIA) [top]