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DFA: Faster release of passports; no fee hike

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PASSPORT LINE. Applicants queue to secure a passport at the New DFA office along Macapagal Boulevard. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Good news for those who want to renew or get a Philippine passport for the first time.

There will be a freeze on passport processing fees this year, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

DFA spokesperson Raul Hernandez on Tuesday said “there are no formal moves to increase passport costs.”

The agency’s Office of Consular Affairs (OCA) is “not planning any increase in passport processing fees this year,” Hernandez told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Regular passport processing, which is pegged at P950 (about $22), can be claimed after 14 working days. “Express,” or expedited, processing in seven days costs P1,200.

The DFA used to charge P500 and P750, respectively, for the issuance of passports. The fees were raised in 2009 following the introduction of  “e-passports.”

In the past two years, the DFA issued at least five million passports, generating more than P6 billion for the government.

This year, the DFA expects to process 2.8 million passports, about 200,000 more than the travel documents it issued in 2011.

Faster processing

In its 2011 accomplishment report, the DFA noted that “the releasing time of passports has been shortened from 31 days to 14 days for regular processing.”

It said “the appointment waiting time for passports has been reduced from 75 days to seven days.”

The DFA has repeatedly reminded passport applicants to schedule an appointment with the OCA to ensure that their applications will be accommodated.

The appointment system “will enable the OCA to preprocess information submitted in advance by a passport applicant, thus avoiding long queues as experienced by walk-in applicants,” the DFA explained.

By appointment

According to the DFA, passport applicants may set an appointment by going online (www.passport.com.ph), or by calling 737-1000.

Travel agents may make an appointment at www.dfa.gov.ph or send e-mail to scheduler@dfa-appointment.net. They may also call the DFA trunk line 834-4000 or 834-4961, 834-4855 and 834-3707 for more details.

One of cheapest

The fee of $22  for the regular processing of a passport goes up to $60 at Philippine diplomatic missions abroad.

It is higher because of “transport and logistics costs plus the higher rates for personnel services and utilities in our foreign missions,” said the DFA’s Public Information Service Unit (Pisu).

But Pisu pointed out that the Philippine processing fee was “one of the lowest in Asia, if not the world.”

The fee is way below those of other Asian countries, including Japan ($180), Cambodia ($120), Malaysia ($97), Singapore ($52), Brunei ($37), and Thailand ($33).

The Philippine passport also costs much less than counterparts in the United States ($110) and Canada ($86).

Malls

The DFA has entered into memoranda of agreement with private firms operating malls nationwide, like SM Prime Holdings, Ayala Land, Robinsons Land Corp. and Pacific Mall Corp., for e-passport operations.

“With this move, the DFA was taking a big leap forward as it can now more effectively deliver consular services to the people in modern, more applicant-friendly settings at very little cost to the government,” Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said

“Since the last quarter of 2011, the combined public-private partnership arrangements we have entered into with the private sector on this initiative translates to almost P1.04 billion in savings for the government over a period of 10 years,” he  added.

The DFA is scheduled to inaugurate next month the new offices of DFA-Cebu at Pacific Mall in Mandaue City, according to Hernandez.

“We have actually already transferred there, but operations are not yet in full blast. We are set to open in several other locations nationwide in April and more in June,” he said.

Originally posted: 6:37 pm | Tuesday, January 31st, 2012


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Tags: Features , fees , Foreign affairs , Government , Passport

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PDRFQZRK6QOIGLLW46ELFGYCNE deep

    Hoy Renato -> Renata! ASAN KA NA????????

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PDRFQZRK6QOIGLLW46ELFGYCNE deep

    ETO SIDELINE STORY:

    May Binebenta sa Chinese Embassy na kotse Mazda 3, 2005 last year…nakita ko sa internet. 7,000 km lang ang tinakbo, halos paikot ikot lang ng forbes at global..so nag interes ako, dahil naghahanap ako ng sasakyan ko na pasok sa budget.

    Tawag ako ngaun kay Mr. Qui (ata yun), 3rd secretary sa Embassy..xa kasi nag post sa internet..480k pero kanila na ang tax, diplomatic kasi ung plaka ng kotse.

    Tawad ako ngaun, 400k nalang boss…sabi nya, ok pero sau ang tax…sabi ko declare nalang natin na 150k ung pagkakabenta sa akin ng kotse para mababa ang tax ko. sabi nya ok, basta 400k parin ha..so agree kami…nung pumunta ako sa embassy, na bigay na yun kotse sa iba, kasi hinabol ung 480k nila…so sabi nya sakin, CHULI MY FREN, i gave it to the other guy.

    Moral of the story????   PWEDE PALA UNDER THE TABLE NEGO SA MGA ITO EH…NO WONDER SI BEN BURJER ABALOS NAKA ILANG BILYONES DITO. 

    HAAAYZZZZZ…..

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DE7NNFPC6GUWXCEI43IZLSUWFE Lowell

    U.S. Gov’t loves WAR & CONFLICT. continuously they will create clouds of fear… branding China as aggressor but modern history would tell how U.S. Gov’t invaded and exploited sovereign country to advance their interest.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/PDRFQZRK6QOIGLLW46ELFGYCNE deep

      Yes, i agree on that…But this world is neither fair nor just. We have to take side, we can’t be on the sidelines if if we don’t want to get involved because we have to choose who we want to interact with, have relationship with and trade with.

      And we chose the west over china or russia…Senator Ninoy has a better word for it.

      “im no american puppet nor russian puppet, but in this world you have to choose between the devils…either the devil i know (americans) or the devil i don’t know (russians). I’ve known the americans for the last 100 years”

      Same is true for today…Devils but we have to choose…

      China is growing and is trying to flex its muscles..in order to break from American Homogenity in the region, and in doing so, shows of who is the big guy now by claiming and acting like a bully.

      The American Military Industrial Complex loves this…it means nervous countries will start arming themselves…buying weapons and capabilities..which means revenue! smell of $$$

      U.S Government like it too, aside from its $$$ sales in weapons…Small countries who don;t want to be under China’s orbit will start to gravitate towards them…More trade, more business, more revenues more money!

      That’s why they are NonComital for F16′s request, because they want us to BUY IT and not ask for it for FREE.

      Business Man!!! Money!!!! its all about Money, Power and Influence…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2JVSEXTMANAEZGLOSZGWJYW67Q Jess

    I live abroad and a frequent traveller to the Philippines. For the last 3 years, I have been trying to avoid Terminal 1 if I can help it. If its management is making a survey of its users here are a few you add to your survey, assuming you are sincere about getting the opinion of users like me:

    1. Get rid of so many of those duty-free stores in the departure area especially. Give more space to the travelers. Hardly, can you find a comfortable place and space in that area.

    2. Why is the departure area full with personnel or non-personnel, e.g., vendors of ice creams, or whatever, kibitzers, people with all sorts of “special passes” roaming around and congesting the departure area. If you need help and ask the info counter, hardly can you find a good information. Some people are willing to help but for a price.

    3. There are just so many UNNECESSARY PERSONNEL in the area. It feels so congested. You  don’t find this in other airports. In Changi (Singapore) few personnel but very good signs posted in strategic places. No need to ask for assistance.

    4. In the arrival area, I have lost some baggages already. And when I asked for assistance, you would be lucky if you can find the right person or information. Again, there are just so many people there, kibitzers, or what not. Uniformed personnel asking me if I need taxi, what? insulting to their uniforms

    Am looking forward to find changes in Terminal 1. I will be in the blog again for positive changes.

  • Anonymous

    @jude

    It seems we agree on this logic: Foreign investors are unlikely to invest in the Philippines for some of the following reasons:

    a) Tariff Taxes.
    b) Poor Safety and Security.

    However, Tariffs are made for the protection of a country’s economy from foreign establishments. Just as overseas foreign workers (OFW) siphon some of the foreign economy out and into the Philippines economy in the form of remittances, a foreign establishment in the Philippines can do the same in opposite through their revenues at much higher rates by siphoning out the Philippine economy and into foreign economies.

    There’s not much to say about poor safety and security other than it is an inherent problem all countries face when their economy is struggling.

    So what’s obvious? It’s not wise to waste time relying on Foreign investors unless a ride on a circular logic to no end makes good business sense.

    Then who can we count on? The Government, Private companies, OFWs, Filipinos living abroad, and the countrymen themselves of course.

    If the government can spend well over P1 billion dollars (USD 23.8 million) for a couple of international airports, then a government’s capacity to invest in it’s own countrymen and women to build large manufacturing plants, factories, call centers, or technology facilities should be a breeze.

    With just 23 million dollars (P1 billion), more than 7 one-hectar-sized buildings can be constructed to employ over 12,000 Filipinos. The remaining funds can be used to extend employment including the help from revenues acquired from exported products and/or services sold to foreign countries.

    That’s just one example of how jobs can also be created and one that’s aligned with development, improvement, and growth originating from within the country.

    We have to recognize and understand that we live in a global society ruled by capitalism which does not admire countries relying or begging for help unless there is a bigger pay off (seen or unseen) in return. And if we simply lose faith, confidence, and significance in our country, we’re liable to lose the whole country in this global game of capitalism.

    There’s no better way to jump-start the country other than through Filipinos (Government, Private companies, OFWs, Filipinos living abroad, and the countrymen), not Foreigners.

  • Anonymous

     di na kasi dapat pinapatulan yang joboni 96 na yan, wala namang katotoran sinasabi tingin ko may pahid , di na dapat sagutin mga sinasabi, kawawa din kaya lang sayang oras

  • http://joboni96.myopenid.com/ joboni96

    babaw mo man

    seminar ka ulit
    sa mga cia handlers mo

    kumita na yang
    red baiting na yan
    noon 1950′s

    ask your cia boss
    how many did the u.s. kill
    when they colonize us pilipinos

    and how many pilipinos
    will get killed
    in the u.s. – tsina crossfire

  • http://joboni96.myopenid.com/ joboni96

    apply ka na
    ng u.s. visa

    astig pala haay

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PDRFQZRK6QOIGLLW46ELFGYCNE deep

    TAPOS NA BA RALLY NYO TEH?????

    MADAMI BA KAU NA MGA BEKI MONSTERS NA PUMUNTA??? NEXT TIME I ANNOUNCE MO NAMAN DITO PARA MAKA PUNTA KAMI…

    MALAMANG ENJOYING KA TEH SA MGA PAPA NA NAKITA MO! 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PDRFQZRK6QOIGLLW46ELFGYCNE deep

    UNGAS SAGUTIN MO LANG YUN MGA TANONG KO SAU..YUN LANG, KASI KAMI MGA ORDINARYONG TAO LANG KAMI…CALL CENTER AKO NAG TTRABAHO PANG GABI ANG PASOK KO, NAG AAKSAYA AKO NG ORAS DITO DAHIL NAKITA KO…SINATURATE NYO MGA ANIMAL KAYO ANG MGA FORUMS SA NEWS MEDIA PARA MAG MUKHA NA YAN ANG OPINION NG TAONG BAYAN…

    KAHIT ITO LANG MAGAGAWA KO PARA SA BAYAN PWEDE NA!

    HINDI NAMAN AKO PWEDE MAG SUNDALO KASI ANG DAMING PAPA DOON!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/judefawley Jude Fawley

    very interesting idea you have. Ofcourse tariff in general is beneficial to a country and no country today exists without some form of tariff taxes. But tariff taxes in our country is considerably higher compare to our neighbours. Even our government acknowledges this problem and presidents from Ramos to Pnoy are trying to reduce tariff and liberalize trade in the country. The first step to be done is to modify the economic portion of the constitution and make it more welcoming to the foreign companies.

    I find it interesting that we can reduce the unemployment in this country without the participation of foreign companies through building factories in the country. To me personally, it is much wiser to let private business run the economy. We live in a globalize world. No country today can exist on its own. Our government may have money to build factories but it cannot sustain the daily management of the business. It’s better to live this in private companies. The reason why China becomes powerful today is because it attracted all foreign companies to build factories in the mainland.

    Liberalization of the economy, to me, is a more logical way in creating jobs in the country. But that’s only one part of the matter. We have to make our streets safer first.

    Nobody will take care of the house if it is owned by all. Privatization of the economy is still the way



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