Passport applicants who failed to show up during their scheduled date of appointment will be barred from re-applying for 30 days starting June 1.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Jose Rene Almendras said on Thursday this move is to let individuals take their appointments seriously.
(Photo credit: philstar.com)
“If you don’t show up you’re not going be able to reserve for 30 days. So please take your reservations seriously,” Almendras said during his interview with ANC Channel’s Headstart program.
Almendras revealed that applicants who do not show up as scheduled have caused delays in other applicants who wait as long as two months just to find a schedule.
Almendras further said that one of the reasons for this situation is the fact that passport application reservation has no fee; thus, anyone can apply and re-apply anytime.
“People complain it takes two months to take a slot to be interviewed. Statistics showed that 47 percent of people who applied for appointment do not show up,” Almendras said.
“They just apply now, they don’t show up again so starting June 1, if you do not show up for your appointment you’re gonna be put aside for at least a month. You are not going to apply for a new slot,” he said.
The DFA receives at least 15,000 passport applications daily. On the other hand, Almendras also admitted that DFA truly is experiencing challenges in terms of cutting down the processing time. However, he asked the Filipinos to be more patient as the agency is transitioning to a new system to accommodate more applications and a stricter security check to avoid frauds.
“When you put in a new system there are always challenges but we acknowledge the fact that it has been bumpy,” he said.
“We have a lot more screening happening. We have to double check. We receive 15,000 applications per day and about 4,000 applications are bumped off. We have to investigate, we have to protect the integrity of the passport,” he said.
“The intention is to make the Philippine passport a really respectable identification and that means security check left and right.”