DFA to review issuance of passports

By Pia Lee-Brago

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) will conduct a worldwide assessment on the appointment system and issuance of Philippine passports to shorten the process, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said yesterday.

Cayetano started his first full working day as secretary by visiting the DFA’s Office of Consular Affairs (OCA) in Macapagal Ave., Parañaque City to thresh out problems at the passport division and initiate reforms.

“We’ll look at the time and every stop – from first to the last part of the process – and see how we can shorten it,” Cayetano told reporters.

“Definitely we’ll follow what the President said – that government must be about service and not a cause of suffering,” he said.

Cayetano said he is aware that it takes months before an applicant gets an appointment to submit the requirements and have a passport.

“There can be some quick fixes but I have to consult,” he said, adding the assessment would cover embassies and consulates.

Cayetano said he will discuss with the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Social Security System (SSS) and Philippine Postal Corp. about the possibility of putting up centers at the DFA-OCA.

“Sometimes those making an assessment are not satisfied because of the lack of government IDs,” Cayetano said.

Passport applicants are required to present GSIS, SSS and Professional Regulation Commission IDs in filing their application.

Cayetano took his oath as DFA secretary before President Duterte in Davao City on Thursday after he breezed through his confirmation hearing at the Commission on Appointments.  

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