The government is urging the public to file apostille and passport application or renewals and in provincial consular offices to avoid enduring long lines at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) main office in Manila.
According to Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr., consular offices located outside Manila are now operating in full force to attend to the needs of the public.
Locsin made the suggestion following reports that hundreds of passport applicants, mostly those planning to work abroad, endured long lines and long hours outside the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) main office. Many waiting in line were reportedly seeking apostille or certificate authenticating a public document from the DFA. The agency can only accommodate 300 walk-in apostille applicants per day.
“Why are they in Manila when all our consular offices in all the provinces are already in full force this week? Please make sure all consular offices are informing their respective publics of this update,” Locsin tweeted.
He said apostilles can be availed at DFA Aseana and consular offices located in NCR Northeast (Alimall, Cubao), NCR West (SM Manila), NCR East (SM Megamall), NCR South (Metro Gaisano, Alabang), Pampanga, Cebu, Iloilo and Davao.
As soon as he learned about the people lining up outside DFA Manila, Locsin directed concerned agency personnel to attend to their needs, including food provision. DFA personnel have also been ordered to work in 14-hour shifts following reports of people lining up outside the office as early as 3 a.m.
“Suddenly in the night, 800 applicants for Apostile appeared in ASEANA. DFA mobilized to care & feed them,” Locsin said.
“I ordered the deployment of diplomatic staff to man the desks completely in 14 hour shifts. Suspicion of sabotage is irrelevant; they need a public service,” he said.