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  • More Passport Slots Now Open At DFA's Temporary Offices In These Malls

    You can book an appointment at these malls.
    by Johnna V. Giolagon .
More Passport Slots Now Open At DFA's Temporary Offices In These Malls
PHOTO BY Shutterstock/THE BIG WORLD
  • An additional 2,500 slots are now available for passport applications following the opening of five offsite offices by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

    Starting today, July 5, 2021, applicants can book an appointment with the DFA Temporary Offsite Passport Office (TOPS) at the following:

    • SM Mall of Asia
    • SM City North Edsa
    • SM Aura
    • Robinsons Las Pinas
    • Robinsons Magnolia

    “Applying for an appointment is free, but they have to go to the official website,” DFA Undersecretary Brigido Dulay said in a press briefing.

    Each mall site can accommodate 500 applicants throughout the day, Monday to Saturday. To apply for a passport, book an appointment online via www.passport.gov.ph and wait for your confirmation email.

    For urgent cases or applicants with exceptional circumstances – e.g., seniors, persons with disabilities, parents with children – they may email oca.cl@dfa.gov.ph to see if another arrangement can be made for them.

    Dulay said these temporary passport offices will operate until September 2021, but they can extend should the demand continue. The DFA is looking into replicating this arrangement in areas outside the National Capital Region (NCR) eventually but did not mention specifics.

    At the same time, Dulay warned the public against contracting the services of fixers or those selling passport appointment slots.

    “Don’t fall for scams offering to set you up an appointment for passport,” he warned, noting that the individuals can apply on his own. Additionally, “the (DFA) also coordinates with Facebook to take down pages and groups that sell passport appointment,” the DFA said in a separate message sent to reporters.

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    Dulay acknowledged these offsite offices responded to the backlog in passport applications, wherein slots are filled up until September in many areas. He said they had to scale down operations due to health protocols such as social distancing and venue capacity.

    Before the pandemic, the DFA process about 13,000 slots daily nationwide; this was cut to about 6000. The lockdowns also forced them to reschedule those whose appointments in May and June.

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