Please be guided accordingly…
I am excited about my trip to Malaysia and Singapore but I was disappointed with all the inconvenience and hassles I went through during my passport application.
I came to Department of Foreign Affairs at exactly 9:30 AM, as specified on the schedule confirmation, that’s thirty minutes before the appointed time. I was with my boyfriend and we managed to avoid every fixer that came our way. The DFA staff on duty ushered us to go inside and even shoved the fixers away but to my dismay, he informed us that we have to head to DFA Consular Office at the Macapagal Boulevard since we have our schedule already. Fine.
But wait, there’s more! He asked if I have completed all the requirements including passport photos so I said YES, except for photos because I was informed that it will be taken during the application. He insisted that the machines are not yet available on-site so he had me seated in front of the camera and PC then there goes the 1-2-3 click equals to one hundred fifty pesos. With his ID (too bad, I did not catch his name) and uniform, why would I have doubts? Of course I had, but I did not entertain it because I was in a hurry to meet my 10 AM schedule at the consular office.
Multicabs were still waiting for passengers so we’re forced to take the tricycle for a fare of P100 for us two. That’s because we didn’t want to wait for 3 more passengers. Fine. We should have hailed a cab. Tsk.
When we arrived at the DFA Consular Office, there were lots of people waiting outside. Escorts are not allowed. The guard on duty wouldn’t allow me to go inside because I did not have my application form printed. But I have my appointment number written down so he finally let me in. When I asked another guard where I should fall in line, he pointed me to the 10AM queue. Yipee, I made it! Only to be back at the bottom of the queue because my application form was not VERIFIED aka signed with STABILO BOSS or whatever marker/highlighter they have. Oh my! I can’t find the right lines of people and I have to start all over again. Fine. Patience… patience…
I checked my name on the bulletin board of daily schedule and it was there. I informed the front desk about it and they signed my application form. Because of that, I was included in the bulk of late comers falling in line for the 10:30AM appointment. There’s good and bad thing about it. Lucky are those who are entertained despite their tardiness and how unfortunate for those who came on time only to be delayed by these people hence the domino effect.
I was applicant number 4831 and I noted the time stamp on that piece of paper – 10:32AM. Guess what time my number was called… Almost 2PM. Despite the long wait, I still consider myself lucky for being seated within 4 hours after few minutes of standing. After paying the passport fees, I endured another hour of waiting for the data capturing. By 3PM I was out of hell.
My boyfriend was waiting for me at the nearby McDo all through out the day, that’s my only consolation. So after literally devouring the food he ordered for me, we took a cab on the way home. And the story of mandarambong-gatari started. The taxi driver chatted with us and we talked about corruption even in the smallest unit of society, from the cops to the fixers and on how we can let the President know about it. The weather synchronized with our sentiments thus resulted to heavy downpours.
My thoughts drifted even at home…
I was really disappointed about this new system. I know where DFA
is WAS located at, their SOP and the annoying fixers. I’ve been there before with my college classmate. So when I went there on the appointed date and time, I was really surprised to know that their good office has been relocated. I did not get it on the confirmation email. For sure it’s somewhere on their website but it does not concern me that much anymore. What enraged me are the illegal operations going on at the old DFA office. Is there something that can be done with those photo booths and greedy fixers? Why are they still operating their dirty business in broad daylight? Why? Should those establishments be demolished?
I’m really worried about other people that might be lured in this trap. That place is now full of sh!t. I’ve seen several others who were totally clueless about it and still making transactions with fixers and unauthorized officers.
If you wish to renew your passport or to apply for new one, read the Passport Application Appointment System carefully. If you don’t have a schedule yet, start the Individual Appointment Process rather than paying P300 or more for merely scheduling your appearance.