MANILA, Philippines – Complaints regarding the Department of Foreign Affairs’ passport appointment system are now trending on social media.
Most of the complaints are about the lack of slots for appointments.
Some complainants relayed that they were advised to go a travel agent who can process their passport application for a large fee.
One complainant also posted his conversation with an alleged agent asking for P2,500 in exhange of a DFA-confirmed appointment.
Dina, not her true name, attested that the said scheme exists.
Her family had planned to go abroad for the holidays but could not find an available appointment slot. When she finally found one, it was by a travel agency.
She claims that the agency asked for P2,500 for an appointment slot, excluding passport processing.
“Iba pa rin daw yung babayaran sa passport sa Baguio, para yung daw P2,500 na yun binabayad lang daw po niya sa tao sa DFA (There’s a separate fee for the processing of passport in Baguio. The P2,500 is for the DFA personnel only),” Dina said.
Aside from this, a Facebook page that carries the name “DFA passport appointment legit” was also created offering slots for passport appointments.
The Administrator of this Facebook page also charges P2,500 fee to be paid through money or bank transfer.
According to ACTS-OFW Representative, Aniceto Bertiz, the problem with online appointments has been a long-running issue and has already been tackled with the Foreign Affairs Department.
DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano is expected to discuss the issue on passport appointment system this Friday. – Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue
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