By Camille A. Aguinaldo, Reporter
THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) will shorten the waiting time for passport releases to 12 working days from the original 15 for regular processing and six working days from seven for express processing in Metro Manila, starting Oct. 1.
For DFA Consular offices outside Metro Manila, the waiting time will be reduced to 12 working days from the original 20 for regular processing and to seven working days from 10 for express processing.
In a statement, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano said the DFA is also working to reduce the waiting time for passport applications filed at the Philippine Embassies and Consulates around the world. The processing currently takes as long as two months, according to DFA.
“We made a promise to the President and to our kababayan that we will work hard to give them fast, efficient, and secure passport services,” Mr. Cayetano said in a statement from New York.
The DFA has also shortened the waiting time of passport applicants in securing online appointment slots to two weeks to one month compared to the average of two to three months last year.
“From the 9,500 passports that were being processed daily in May last year, we have increased our capacity to almost 20,000 passports a day. We endeavor to increase to number to 30,000 by the end of the year,” Mr. Cayetano said.