My DFA experience
Let me tell you my experience with Passport Renewal and New Application Processing at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). My dad, my brother, Hazel my little girl, and I went to their ASEANA Office at the Macapagal Boulevard for our passport applications. My dad and I for renewal only while my brother and Hazel for new application processing. We had our appointments set through the DFA Appointment System’s 737-1000 phone service. We chose the family appointment so we can go as one unit and I can easily assist them while inside DFA. We set our appointment last August 1, 2011 at 8:30AM.
I’ve been hearing reports that there is still a line outside of people trying their luck to get in without an appointment. This is actually true. I’ve seen some people outside the gate 1 of DFA ASEANA Office. This is a warning to those who still believe they can get in without setting an appointment either online or through the 737-1000 phone service… you can’t get in by lining up outside anymore! Your appointment paper, the DFA Form with the appointment date and time on top of it, will be presented to the guards at Gate 2 (for individual applicants). You can’t get in without it so lining up will be a futile effort on your part. Or even if you can get past the guards at the gates, you won’t be entertained inside without an appointment.
Anyway, because of those reports, I told everyone that we would head out to DFA at least an hour and a half in advance (to allow for travel and waiting time). We arrived at the DFA office a little past 8AM. We were directed right away to a table where there were three people scanning the bar codes on top of the Passport Application/Renewal Form (that you have to print as part of the documents you will be bringing with you). After which, we were asked to wait but we didn’t have to wait long. I think we sat at the waiting area outside for just a minute or two then ahead of the designated time of 8:30AM, we were asked to go inside the office already. There we were asked to line up for the Verification of Documents. We didn’t have to stand for a long time because chairs are prepared for applicants to sit on. It was a very organized process. When it’s time for me and my family to go to an available window, we went altogether: my brother first, then Hazel, my dad and I was the last one. I was the one who prepared their documents so I assisted them as their documents were verified. I will write a separate post for the documents required for passport processing. After verification, each one of us were asked to specify whether we want to have our passports rushed or not. I chose express processing (Php1,200 each, 15 days wait or 10 business working days) for Hazel and I, and regular processing for my dad and my brother (Php900 each, 30 days wait or 20 business working days).
Stay tuned for Part 2 of My DFA Experience