Foreign affairs dept. asked to look into e-passport delays

MANILA — Senator Grace Poe on Monday asked the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to look into several complaints of system inefficiency resulting in delays in e-passport processing.

Poe’s office has received various complaints from passport applicants, ranging from long waiting time and failure to receive the confirmation code through e-mail as to the date of the electronic passport appointment.

Poe asked the department to provide immediate solutions to passport processing delays, saying that waiting for about two months for passport application is unacceptable.

She described these delays as having led to “missed opportunities” for Filipinos wanting to visit their families abroad, those seeking immediate medical treatment and especially aspiring overseas Filipino workers.

The senator also cited how President Rodrigo Duterte previously said he wanted an end to long queues of passport applicants at the DFA processing centers.

At present, passport applicants need to call the DFA hotline or visit the DFA’s online application system website and book a preferred date and selected time for personal appearance and submission of pertinent documents at the DFA Manila in Aseana, Macapagal Ave., participating regional consular offices and satellite offices.

Some 15,000 Filipinos apply for a passport every day. PNA/