DFA to speed up passport production to 30,000 a day
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) aims to produce 30,000 passports a day by the end of the year without compromising the security of the document.
“We owe the public a[n] efficient, fast, and safe passporting system,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said Wednesday in an interview on DZMM Teleradyo.
“By the end of the year, we expect mas madali nang kumuha ng appointment (for passport application or renewal),” he said.
The Foreign Affairs Chief said the DFA can process 19,000 passports per day today, which is already an improvement of the 9,000 to 9,500 output per day when he assumed office in 2016.
To speed up passport production, he said eight vans with five printing machines each were added to DFA’s “passport on wheels” project. Each machine can print 100 passports each.
The DFA also extended their office hours, reduced the number of allotments for travel agencies, and set up express lanes for persons with disabilities (PWDs), single parents, and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
On top of these, the ePayment system of the DFA launched in June, is already being used by 94 percent of applicants.
Cayetano said that with ePayment, passport applicants can now pay the fees in Bayad Centers and other venues.
“Dinadagdagan na namin ‘to, sa 7-Eleven at iba pang mga stores, so ngayon 94 percent na ang pumupunta (We are adding more payment centers such as 7-Eleven and other stores, so now 94 percent of our applicants avail of the ePayment scheme),” he added.
Eight consular offices were also set to open this year. Four are already in the works, while two are already operational — the consular offices in Santiago City, Isabela and in San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte.
Cayetano is also pushing for passport printing machines to be set up in the United States, and probably in the Middle East or Europe so the finished passports will not be mailed anymore to these regions. — Kristine Anne Macasiray / INQUIRER.net/Intern /ee
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