MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with a private firm to establish the first electronic passport (e-passport) renewal center (PaRC) at a mall in Dubai.
In a statement, the DFA said the launch of the PaRC will allow Filipinos in Dubai and Northern Emirates to choose between applying for the renewal of their passport at the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai or at the center.
“Those who avail of the services at PaRC will pay an additional convenience fee on top of the normal cost of passport renewal that they pay at the Consulate General or at the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi,” the statement read.
“The PaRC will only cater to simple passport renewal services that do not require any changes in the biographic details of the passport holder,” it added.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., and VFS Global head of business development Chris Dez witnessed the signing of the agreement, which coincided with the inauguration of the PaRC at the Dubai Health Care City.
The establishment of the e-passport renewal center aims to provide an alternative means for Filipinos to avail of passport renewal services in two of the Middle East countries with the highest concentration of Filipino workers—the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
This is the first time that the Philippine government has outsourced part of its renewal of passport application service to a private entity.
The department said the outsourcing to VFS Global only applies to the frontline operation of passport renewal application such as the “acceptance of application, capturing of biometrics and biographical details, payment of fees, and release of passport.”
“It should be noted that the actual production of passport is still with the DFA,” it said.
The United Arab Emirates is the second-largest concentration of Filipino workers in the Middle East with around 600,000 Filipinos living and working there.
The DFA said other PaRCs will be opened in Abu Dhabi, Riyadh and Jeddah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2020.
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