Bonjour. Mabuhay.

Here’s a news update on the DFA and the passport issuance procedures.

MANILA, May 5 (PIA)–The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) assures the public that measures have been put in place to address the delay in the processing and releasing of passports which are caused by the recent unprecedented increase in passport applications and other technical concerns.

The DFA said that due to this, the validity of expiring passports of those who have urgent travels will be extended for another year.

“The extension will be free of charge while the applicants are waiting for the release of their new electronic passports (ePassports),” the agency said in a statement posted on its website.

Applicants who need their passports on emergency circumstances are advised to go to the Passport Director’s Office, located at the ground floor of the DFA-OCA at the Aseana Business Park along Macapagal Avenue, for assistance.

To accommodate all applications for passports, the DFA also announced the extension of the Office of Consular Affairs’ work hours. The processing is now until 8:00 p.m on weekdays and 5:00 p.m on Saturdays.

They also encourage the public to file their application as early as 12 weeks before their scheduled travel.

“The DFA is exerting all efforts and is committed to resolve the delays at the soonest possible time, and requests the public’s patience and understanding, particularly those who applied at its Regional Consular Offices (RCOs),” the statement said. (DFA/RJB/SDL-PIA NCR) by Susan G. de Leon