Thursday, November 5, 2009

Philippine Passport Quest of a Newbie (Part 1)

Finally, I’ve applied for a Philippine passport on October 29, 2009; I’m just waiting now for its release. The saying that knowing is half the battle clearly applies for my quest for a Philippine passport as a newbie. Before going to the battlefield/Department of Foreign Affairs, I’ve gathered information from the Internet and suggestion and experience from friends and family. As a result, I’ve discovered a new and easy way of acquiring a passport—through online appointment.

But before I relate details about this recent DFA effort, I would enumerate first the different manners of acquiring the machine readable passport (MRP), another meritorious improvement by the Department of Foreign Affairs for the benefit of Filipinos.

Telephone Passport Processing

For those who have extra money and no time for a queue, a telephone passport processing perhaps would rise to the occasion. I found two companies offering passport acquisition, as they say, without difficulty: Pilipinas Teleserv Inc. and Telephone Passport Express.

Conventional Way

By this, I mean doing the traditional way of showing and lining up at the DFA. I don’t know how long it will take if you choose this manner; but to give you an idea of what to expect, you may want to ask your family or friends who chose this manner (I originally included the link explaining the procedures, but I had to remove it after updates were made in the DFAs website.)

Online Appointment

Lucky me, the DFA have devised a way of facilitating their service via online. It’s about time, anyway. As a first timer, I’ll reveal my experience on the second part of this post. So who can avail from this innovation?

Applicants for passport renewal, new applicants, and senior citizens are qualified to avail of this service. Last year in order to make an online appointment, you can either choose DFA MRP Appointment System (I opted to use since I was then a new applicant) or DFA ePassport Appointment System.  Actually, these choices confused me before, but now only the latter is left (they must have read my mind/suggestion); thereby, avoiding further confusion.

In choosing from these methods, you should consider you’re availability and allotted time in order to save more time and make less travel. Amidst the discrepancy in these methods, there lies similarity: personal appearance is required as one of the passport requirements.

To determine the other requirements for various categories, go to passport information. I’m not aware of how often the DFA employees update their website; thus, better check first the passport requirements prior to application.

Proceed to Part 2 for more information about online appointment.

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