I have followed news about the too much delay in processing and releasing of passport in the Philippines due to a lot of reasons. One, the machine broke down. Two, that passport applicants have surge in numbers compared to the previous years (this is just another blah, blah, blah of the government). Three, other technicalities (this include manpower shortage).
I am very much concerned on this matter because me, mama and my daughter will travel to Hong Kong on June 19. Supposedly, their passports will be released on June 3. I frequently visit the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs) DFA to get updates on this issue.
On May 4, 2011, they released an announcement on their website that “The DFA advises the public to file for their passport applications at least 12 weeks before their intended date of travel.” They released this statement after we have filed on April 12, 2011. They should have announced this earlier on or have advised the public more of the delay issues on TV, radio and newspaper and not only on their website. Another advisory was released on May 6, 2011 about the addition of 500 appointment slots to accommodate applicants at DFA-OCA.
I have heard and read of so much complaints about the delay of the release of the passports that some OFWs were not able to travel on time and lost opportunity of working abroad. Those who were so super excited of their travel for holidays and maybe their first time to go out of the country were dismayed because of a cancelled trip.
Before, regular passport will just take 25 days and 15 days for overtime. Now, with this e-passport which I thought is more efficient and fast. Unfortunately, the supposed 25 days is now 35 days and more waiting time due to all the delays in the world.
DFA has launched passport tracking system exclusive for passport delayed. I tried to track the status of my daughter’s passport but thing is, this tracking system is not applicable to regional applicants for now as this is not yet included in the system. Anyhow, those who are itching of the status of their passport can track it here http://www.dfa.gov.ph/app/passport_tracking/
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The travel agency phoned us on June 14, 2011 that the passports of my daughter and mother were already available. Said passports were on our hand on June 16, 2011. We sent letter of request to DFA on June 6 requesting the release of the passports on or before June 17, 2011 as our travel will be on June 19, 2011. We received the passports just in time.
Thank you DFA