Manila, Philippines –APPLYING for a passport is no longer a difficult process for most Filipinos. Where before they had to wait long hours to get a passport, now they can just go to the mall to file their applications. Mall-based centers in Metro Manila and in some provinces accept new and renewal passport applications, as well as authentication services, making the process faster, more convenient, and more accessible.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is committed to bring passport services closer to the people. It is opening 30 mall-based passport centers around the country by 2014 in partnerships with major mall chains. This year, it opened three centers – at SM Megamall, its first consular satellite office in Metro Manila;at Robinsons Galleria in Ortigas;and at SM City Manila – which today service half of the daily volume of 5,000 applications at the main DFA Consular Office in Parañaque City. The DFA recently opened outlets in Pacific Mall in Cebu, Robinsons Starmills in San Fernando, Pampanga, and Marquee Mall in Angeles City. It will soon open passport offices at Robinsons Lipa, Robinsons Bacolod, Robinsons Dumaguete, Robinsons General Santos, SM Baguio, SM Davao, Pacific Mall Legazpi and Metro Gaisano Alabang. Before 2014, passport offices will be opened in Laoag, Batangas, Iloilo, Tacloban, Puerto Princesa, Butuan, and Cagayan de Oro City.
Apart from passport services, mall-based DFA offices in the provinces also entertain migrant workers’ concerns. Many overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families come from far-flung areas and they can now be served better and faster in DFA mall offices.
The first Philippine biometric passport was released by the DFA on August 11, 2009, containing varied security features, such as hidden encoded image, holographic laminate, and tamper-proof electronic microchip. There is a rising demand for passports among Filipinos, particularly those seeking jobs abroad.
We wish the Department of Foreign Affairs, headed by Secretary Albert F. del Rosario, Undersecretary of Administration Rafael E. Seguis, Undersecretary of International Economic Relations Antonio V. Rodriguez, Undersecretary of Migrant Workers Affairs Esteban B. Conejos, and Undersecretary of Policy Erlinda F. Basilio, other Officers and Personnel, in their noteworthy undertakings to provide a better, faster services for the Filipino people. CONGRATULATIONS AND MABUHAY!
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