Passport applications in areas under general quarantine may open
MANILA, Philippines — Areas placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) may resume processing passport applications, an official of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Saturday.
However, DFA Undersecretary Civilian Security and Consular Concerns Brigido Dulay noted that while normal operations will resume, the DFA will change its process in line with guidelines on social distancing due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.
“‘Yun naman pong ibang consular office po namin ay temporary nang nags-uspend po sapagkat marami po sa kanila ang nalagay sa enhanced community quarantine,” Dulay first noted in the Laging Handa online press briefing.
(Some of our consular offices have temporarily suspended operations due to the enhanced community quarantine.)
“So pag nagluwag po ito at nagkaroon po ng tinatawag na general community quarantine, magbabalik po yung operasyon ng normal,” he added.
(So these areas will loosen and will be placed under general community quarantine instead, they can proceed with normal operations.)
“Kaya lang po, gusto ko lang po ipaalalahanan ang ating mga kababayan … hindi na po pu-pwede yung dating proseso,” the DFA official further stated. “Magi-iba po kami ng proseso para makasunod po tayo sa patakaran ng social distancing at decongestion.”
(However, I just want to notify our people that we will not follow our usual process. We will change our process so it will comply with social distancing and decongestion guidelines.)
Dulay later asked the people for more patience, since the process may take a little longer.
“So kami po, pinangungunahan na po namin ang aming mga kababayan na sana po ay habaan ninyo ang inyong pasensya at pag-unawa sapagkat kailangan po medyo habaan at tatagalan ang proseso para sumangayon po sa ating social distancing measures dun po sa consular offices.”
(So we are asking you to have a little more patience and understanding since the process may take longer so it will comply with social distancing measures in our consular offices.)
The DFA-Office for Consular Affairs previously suspended the processing of passport applications in Metro Manila since it was placed under community quarantine.
On Friday, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the extension of the enhanced community quarantine over Metro Manila and other regions until May 15. Meanwhile, some areas considered as “low risk” for the coronavirus were placed under a “new normal” or GCQ.
Among those areas under GCQ are Apayao, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Kalinga, Ilocos Sur,, Batanes, Quirino, Aurora, Palawan, Romblon, Camarines Norte, Sorsogon, Masbate, Guimaras, Bohol, Biliran, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Northern Samar, Southern Leyte, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga Sibugay, Bukidnon, Camiguin, Davao Occidental, Sarangani, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Island, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Basilan, Sulu.
Other areas, particularly Abra, Ilocos Norte, La Union, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Marinduque, Camarines Sur, Aklan, Capiz, Samar, Zamboanga Del Sur, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, North Cotabato, South Cotabato and Maguindanao, have also been placed under GCQ, but are subject for review.
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