MANILA, Philippines – Do you urgently need to apply for a passport?
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday, November 29, said is accepting "walk-in" applicants in its newly-inaugurated satellite office in Robinsons Novaliches, Quezon City.
No need for a passport appointment there "until the office is configured into the existing appointment system," DFA Assistant Secretary Frank Cimafranca said.
The DFA office at Robinsons Novaliches is the agency's 6th satellite office in the National Capital Region (NCR) and the 3rd in Quezon City.
Cimafranca said the Robinsons Novaliches office, called DFA NCR-North, is expected to ease queues in other passport application sites. (READ: DFA warns applicants who miss passport appointments)
DFA NCR-North was inaugurated on Tuesday by officials led by Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr and Quezon City 5th District Representative Alfredo Vargas III.
300 applicants per day
Cimafranca, who heads the DFA's Office of Consular Affairs, added in a text message: "However, at present, DFA NCR-North can only accommodate a maximum of 300 applicants per day, but may increase over time to serve around 500 applicants per day."
In a speech, Yasay said the DFA's services in Quezon City cater not only to the city's residents, but also to those in nearby areas like Caloocan City, Valenzuela City, Bulacan, and even Ilocos and Zamboanga.
Yasay explained: "I guess that's because this satellite office does not have any appointment schedule as yet. You could come in as you walk in, and because it is a new office, we service an average of about 250 applicants a day, and there is a tendency for people to come in here."
"And I know, not long from now, we again will be suffering the kind of difficulties of people concentrating their applications in one place, and that can be problematic," the DFA secretary said.
Yasay said the DFA NCR-North had its soft opening "only a few days ago," and has served "more than 7,000 applicants for passports" – in his words, "a record performance." – Rappler.com