In the first week of September (2017), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced that it has opened more appointment slots for Pinoys seeking to apply for a new passport or have their old ones renewed. The additional slots came from the 1,200 reserved (daily) slots for travel agencies and DFA employees.
Yes, even DFA employees have to adjust to the new mandate so that only their immediate family members are extended the privilege of an assured appointment with the DFA. Immediate family members include parents, spouse, children, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, and parents-in-law. The courtesy lanes remain open for senior citizens, persons with disabilities, pregnant women, solo parents, children below seven yearls old, and Overseas Filipino Workers.
More good news from the DFA came in late last week when they announced the redesigned online appointment system. Here are the highlights of the new and improved online passport appointment system:
- Fully-booked dates are shown in red while available slots are in green.
- This makes searching for an available date and time easier rather than clicking on each and every date.
- Feedback mechanism activated.
- This ensures that applicants are informed of any concerns on their application and how they can resolve the problem.
- These include discrepancies on provided information, documents submitted.
- Applicants are given ample time to prepare for the lacking requirements ahead of time, instead of finding out about the problems just when they are about to claim their passports.
- Automatic reminder for people who are exempted from making online appointments:
- Senior Citizens
- Persons with Disabilities
- Pregnant women
- Solo parents
- Children seven years old and below
The reminder was put in place because most of the time, even if the applicant is entitled to use the courtesy lane, they still apply for an appointment online and wait in line for their turn. With the reminder, they would know right away that they can proceed to a DFA office, freeing up the appointment slots that they would otherwise book.
The DFA promised to deploy more improvements, not just on the online application system, but in all aspects of their services to the public. They said that their utmost concern are the comfort and security of people who visit their offices everyday, from the head office in Aseana to all satellite and consular offices and foreign posts.
If you have questions about the DFA online appointment system, send us a message and we will do our best to find the best answers for you.