MANILA, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / July 2, 2011) - The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) anounced that the Office of Consular Affairs' (OCA) electronic passport (e-Passport) operations have normalized after weeks of delay due to a software problem.
"This is a very welcome development as we continue to work hard to improve services in our Regional Consular Offices and Foreign Service Posts," said DFA Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs Jaime Victor Ledda in a statement.
He said the DFA continues to reduce the turnaround time for applications filed in RCOs and Philippine embassies and consulate generals.
Other measures have also been implemented to address the backlog of passports, including the increasing of passport appointment slots to 5,000 everyday, extension of passport appointment hours from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday processing from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and extension of validity of passports that are about to expire - 6 months or less from date of application - or have expired - one year expired from date of application - for one year, free of charge.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario has stressed that streamlining the e-passport system is a top priority of the Department.
Passport applicants in Manila may secure an appointment within two weeks through logging on at the website www.epassport.com.ph or by calling (632) 737-1000.