PASSPORT processing and other consular services of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) will be affected by the temporary closure of several offices within the period Jan. 10 to 20 due to a rising number of coronavirus cases among personnel.

“During the temporary suspension of operations, no passport or Apostille applications will be processed or released. Operations shall resume on 21 January 2022,” DFA said in a statement on Monday.

The affected Consular Offices are those in Antipolo, Angeles, Baguio, Dasmariñas, Iloilo, La Union, Lucena, Malolos, San Pablo, and the National Capital Region East, North, Central, Northeast, South, and West.

The Office of Consular Affairs in Aseana Business Park will also be closed.

Off-site passport processing centers that will also temporarily halt operations are those in Newport Mall, Robinsons Las Piñas, Robinsons San Pedro Laguna, SM Manila, and Robinsons Novaliches.

A limited manpower will still attend to emails and calls at these offices, DFA said.

Affected applicants will be informed of their new appointment schedule via email.

For validly urgent and emergency cases, the department assured that it will continue to provide assistance within its limited capacity during the temporary closure. 

“So far, DFA has a positivity rate of 22% with many more reporting symptoms. If we add close contacts, that is a large number of people who are advised to isolate,” Assistant Secretary Eduardo Martin R. Meñez said in a WhatsApp message to reporters. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan