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PRRD Year 2: Improving consular services

PRRD Year 2: Improving consular services
By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora
MANILA -- The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has implemented several measures to improve its consular services following the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte for government offices to streamline processes and provide better services.

For the past two years, it opened new consular offices, worked with the Congress to extend the validity of passport from five to 10 years, launched the Passport on Wheels project and increase passport production capacity.

In its accomplishment report for the State of the Nation 2018, the DFA said a total of 2,171,799 passports were issued for the first half of 2018 alone, which is already 57.9 percent of their target this year.

For the period July 2016 to June 2018, four new consular offices (CO) were also opened in San Fernando, La Union; Novaliches, Quezon City; San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte and in Santiago, Isabela.

The agency also continued to sign agreements to establish more consular offices in malls.

In December 2016, the DFA inked a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with ALNOR Prime Properties Corporation (APPC) for the hosting of a regional consular office in Cotabato City.

It also signed an MOA in May 2018 with SM Group for the latter’s "rent-free hosting" of COs in Antipolo, Rizal; DasmariƱas, Cavite; and San Pablo, Laguna.

The formal opening of COs in Tagum, Davao del Norte, and Paniqui, Tarlac were also facilitated through a partnership with Gaisano Malls and Walter Mart Malls, respectively.

Passport services

In January 2018, the 10-year validity of passports took effect and the DFA's Passport on Wheels program was launched.

Upon the instructions of the President, the DFA has worked with the Senate and the House of Representatives on the extension of the validity of the Philippine passport.

The first 10-year valid passport was released at DFA-Aseana on January 12, 2018.

Three days after the launch, the agency launched the POW, where four vans, with a capacity to process 2,000 passports a day, were deployed. Another four POW vans were added in May 2018.

On Jan. 19, DFA launched an appointment system for first-time overseas Filipino workers.

Since its launch, 5,013 applications of first-time OFWs have been approved.

To address the increase in demand, the DFA also increased its passport production capacity in 2017, with the rate of passport issuance growing by 602,799 or 16 percent from 2016.

Meanwhile, the DFA rolled out its latest program, the passport ePayment portal for DFA Aseana on June 1, 2018, and for COs in Metro Manila on June 28, 2018. The system seeks to increase the agency's capacity to receive and process passport applications. (PNA)

PRRD Year 2: Improving consular services PRRD Year 2: Improving consular services Reviewed by AsianPolicy.Press on 2:22:00 AM Rating: 5

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