The fully booked slots for the online passport appintment until June 2018 has been a frustration to many. The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said that the limited slots were due to the capability of their system to process more applications. However, the DFA has assured the Filipinos that the system will be sped up with the advent of their new measures.
After a long wait, Filipinos will now be able to book online passport appointments for July to September 2018 for Consular Offices in the Philippines, except in its Aseana Branch in Parañaque City, starting May 2.
DFA will introduce the ePayment system which is anticipated to speed up the process and will allow its consular offices to accommodate more applications in a day. It is now in its final stages of pilot testing in DFA Aseana office. Once finalized, the new ePayment will be fully implemented in all Consular Offices beginning with DFA Aseana.
According to the DFA, the pilot tests have shown promising results. Show up rates have risen to 95 percent and above, minimizing the number of slots wasted through non-appearance.
The new ePayment system also avoids bogus appointments as applicants now have to pay before an appointment is confirmed. Further, the tests showed that there was a considerable reduction of the time spent at DFA by the applicants, with ePayment decreasing the usual processing time.
The DFA continues to appeal to the public of its understanding and cooperation as the agency continue to implement measures to improve its passporting services and increase its capacity to serve applicants.
Exceptions to the online passport applications are still applicable to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), senior citizens, persons with disability (PWDs), solo parents, minors 7 years old and below and those with emergency and urgent travels may apply for or renew their passports at any Consular Office.