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DFA opens 100,000 new passport application slots

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MANILA — Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on Thursday announced the opening of 100,000 appointment slots for passport application and renewal to address the increasing backlog.

Of the total slots, 50,000 were opened at noon with the remaining 50,000 to be made available at 9 p.m. Cayetano also said that 10,000 slots will be opened from Monday to Saturday, except for holidays.

The 10,000 are on top of the 336,743 appointment slots for June 1 to September 30, 2018, that have already been opened and taken up.

Upon checking the passport.gov.ph website at around 2 p.m., the earliest available appointment for DFA-Aseana is on June 25. The DFA reminded all applicants to refresh the website.

In a press conference, Cayetano reported that the DFA has increased its capacity from 10,500 daily passport appointments in 2017 to 19,000 this year.

Of the 19,000, around 12,000 are allotted for regular online passport applicants; 1,000 for first time overseas Filipino workers through licensed recruitment agencies; 4,000 for passport on wheels; and 2,000 walk-ins.

From January to May 2017, DFA has issued 1.58 million passports. For the same period in 2018, they issued 1.85 million or a 16.74 percent growth. (PNA)