Malacanang assured the public the government is doing its best to address issues about passport applications.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said on January 13 the Palace understands the frustrations caused by problems on passport applications, but he stressed the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is “exerting efforts to improve” the situation.
He said the agency is launching several initiatives to fix the system, such as upgrading its online appointment system, opening more consular offices in Metro Manila, implementing an e-payment system, and introducing the “passport on wheels” service starting January 28.
Roque added the DFA has opened 230, 000 additional slots in the second half last year to accommodate more passport applicants.
Meanwhile, DFA Secretary Allan Peter Cayetano disclosed plans to fast track the opening of nine consular officers this 2018 to address the demand.
In addition, DFA’s Asean unit is set to have increased capacity to cover 3, 300 passport applicants per day from the current 1, 900 applicants.
The DFA admitted it was having a hard time dealing with passport application and renewal process, particularly with the online appointment system.
“We only open three months at a time kasi iniisa-isa namin kung tunay ‘yung pangalan. Only 70 percent na naglalagay ng pangalan ang dumadating. ‘Yung 30 percent for one reason or the other — or whether naglagay tapos binebenta ang slot, hindi dumadating,” he said on Friday.