A DFA official on Friday reported a 17,000 passport backlog due to errors in applications. | CMRamosINQ
MANILA, Philippines — A Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) official on Friday reported a 17,000 passport backlog due to errors in applications. “There are still 17,000 passport applications that are being corrected,” Acting Assistant Secretary Senen Mangalile of the DFA Office of Consular Affairs (OCA) said during an online briefing with reporters. ADVERTISEMENT “Yung mga […]
According to Mangalile, the staff assigned in the correction of these applications are limited due to the sensitivity of data being processed.“Di naman namin madaliang masosolusyunan because we have to ensure that the printed date on their passports is correct,” he added.
(We cannot hastily correct these errors because we need to ensure that the printed date on their passports is correct.)Mangalile further cited the COVID-19 cases recorded among OCA personnel tasked to correct application errors.Just last Monday, he said, a staff member contracted COVID-19.
“The whole team is considered close contact so ngayon po ay nagde-deploy kami ng mga bagong [so now we will be deploying new] personnel to do the correction and we will ensure that more of them are added in the next two days para po tuloy tuloy at bumilis ang proseso ng pag-correct sa maling application po [so that we can resume and the process of correcting errors in applications goes faster],” the DFA official said. headtopics.com
Mangalile noted that the backlog consists of applications sent in at the end of July until the first week of August.ADVERTISEMENT“Kino-correct ng ating team. Magtatagal ‘yung kanilang paghihintay [Our team needs to correct the errors] They will have to wait for the release of their passport until the middle part of October,” he added, citing the need to replenish personnel handling the said task.
More temporary passport sitesIn a statement, the DFA said it is undertaking measures to deliver smoother consular services to the public amid complaints of long lines and slow release of passports.Among them is to decongest the OCA in Aseana Business Park. The DFA said it will be relocating the passport-releasing site to Double Dragon Plaza also in Pasay City.
Passports will be released at the site from Mondays to Fridays—except on public holidays—from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.The DFA is also opening more Temporary Offsite Passport Services (TOPS) sites in the National Capital Region (NCR) and other provinces in order to relieve the pressure on OCA Aseana and its 36 consular offices nationwide.
According to Mangalile, a TOPS will be opening in Laguna, Cebu, and Davao in the coming weeks. A TOPS was recently opened in Olongapo, he added.“Aside from that, we plan to put up sites sa iba’t ibang [in different] provinces like Iloilo, Pangasinan. All of these are to be located near existing consular offices, parang extension po ng ating [they’re like an extension of our] offices,” Mangalile noted. headtopics.com
According to the DFA, long lines experienced by applicants are due to the transfer of passport appointments to the main office in Aseana from consular offices in the NCR that had to temporarily close for disinfection.“The situation was aggravated by the big number of applicants who were personally picking up their passports at the DFA following the severance of relations with the Department’s previous courier service provider,” it explained in a statement.
“Over [2,000] passports were rendered undeliverable due to erroneous addresses or the lack of authorization letters from applicants who were not personally present at their declared addresses. Said passports were then turned over to the DFA for release to the applicants themselves,” it added.
The DFA assured that the OCA is “doing its best to serve clients in a timely manner.”“There is no need to go to DFA ASEANA very early in the morning to be able to avail of consular services within the day,” it also said.The DFA further said OCA’s on-site staff was significantly reduced following a spate of COVID-19 positive cases among the members of its staff.
“This personnel and their close contacts within the offices were required to observe home isolation and be tested again before returning to work,” it said.“The Department requests the public’s cooperation as it strives to deliver passport services to the public while ensuring the public’s safety and health,” it added. headtopics.com
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