Search, click and connect to migrant helplineBy Susan K
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Desperate and frustrated, United States-based Fidel Turla Jr. searched for someone who could help him with his problem with the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C.
He was having a hard time getting his lost passport replaced and couldn’t seem to get a satisfactory explanation from the embassy on why it was taking so long.
His search brought him to this website: www.inquirer.net and he had clicked “Radyo Inquirer” and happened to hear our Bantay OCW program broadcasting from Makati City.
It was early morning in Virginia, his home state, when we received a call from Fidel. We put him on the air over Radyo Inquirer 990 AM (with live streaming over www.dziq.am), and he related his complaint. According to Fidel, he had lost his documents to car thieves. He applied for a replacement of his lost passport on March 21. He was told his passport would be released in one month.
At any rate, it has been more than two months and still no passport and explanation.
His timing was perfect. When he called dzIQ, we are on the air. Bantay OCW was able to contact Assistant Secretary Jaime Victor Ledda of the Office of Consular Affairs of the Department of Foreign Affairs (OCA-DFA). Right then, he asked Fidel details about his passport application so he could check what might be the problem.
Ledda found out that Fidel’s application had fallen into the “Automatic System Suspension,” apparently because there were some details that did not match his Affidavit of Loss filed at the Philippine Embassy.
Ledda cleared up the problem. He told Fidel to return to the embassy in Washington D.C. and this time he would be able to get his passport.
The next day, Fidel called Radyo Inquirer again to thank Bantay OCW, Asec. Ledda and the OCA-DFA, for the immediate resolution of his problem.
Truly, if properly used, today’s technology would save us time and help us live lives easier. And yes indeed, the
Inquirer group is just one click away!
Susan Andes, aka Susan K. is on board at Radyo Inquirer 990 dzIQ AM, Mon. to Fri. 11a.m.-12 noon & 12:30-2 p.m. with live streaming: www.dziq.am Studio: 2/F MRP Bldg., Mola St., cor. Pasong Tirad St., Makati City. Helpline: 0927-6499870 / 0920-9684700. E-mail:
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