Sunday, October 7, 2018

DFA ePayment system to speed up passport processing

By Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff reporter

San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte—To speed up the processing of passports, the Dept. of Foreign Affairs Consular Office (DFA-CO) in this town announced applicants may now prepay their processing fees through authorized payment centers.

“In our effort to simplify and speed up passport processing applicants, we have just launched the DFA ePayment system in Manila,” said Edison Ipac, DFA-CO in officer-in-charge.

The DFA said there is an additional PHP50 convenience fee for the ePayment on top of the current PHP950 for regular and PHP1,200 for expedited processing.

Applicants will only be able to secure a confirmed appointment after paying at the various payment centers around the province.

When seeking passport renewal, applicants, including those who are working abroad complain about the difficulties in getting appointment through the DFA’s online facilities.

In a media conference, Mr. Ipac explained the agency’s central office is the one in-charge of the online appointment system and they are merely tasked to process passports with scheduled appointment.

Executive Order No. 45 dated October 20, 2017, established the DFA-CO Ilocos Norte, the 28th consular office in the country and the 12th mall-based regional consular office under the public-private partnership program of the government and the mall operator.

Since its soft opening on May 8, 2018, Mr. Ipac said they entertain an average of 100 applicants per day.

Starting this month, Mr. Ipac said they hope to serve more Ilocanos as they will be extending operation from Monday to Saturday starting 9:00 am onwards or until the last applicant with scheduled appointment for the day is served.

With the introduction of the ePayment, Ipac added they expect to increase the number of passport processing capacity of the DFA as the prepayment will encourage applicants to show up on their appointment date. The prepayment is non-refundable and non-transferable.

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