The Foreign Affairs department has been continuously implementing reform programs to make passport application more convenient for Filipinos. The agency recently launched “Passport on Wheels” to bring the service closer to the public.
Citizens lamented the difficulty of booking an appointment on the department’s online system which was blamed on alleged fixers and employees of DFA.
In early January, netizens shared on social media the call for DFA to fix its passport appointment system after their website showed it was fully booked until March.
Some alleged ‘syndicates’ were said to hoard passport appointment schedules then sell them at high-prices to applicants who badly needed to get their passports. Prices could soar for as high as Php7,000.
Meanwhile, DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano denied the allegations that there is a syndicate coordinating with its employees. He said that it’s impossible for travel agencies to sell appointment slots because DFA has already blacklisted them from getting slots.
The agency only open slots every three months to accommodate applicants while ensuring the security of the website.