Inihayag ng Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) nitong Huwebes na nagbukas na ito ng nasa 800,000 passport appointment slots sa buong bansa.
Sa organizational meeting ng Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, sinabi ni Asec. Henry Bensurto na may ilang lugar na may slots ng September at October bilang sagot sa pagsita ni Senator Imee Marcos sa DFA dahil sa website ahensya ay lumabas na March 2023 pa ang may available slots.
Mayroon din anyang passport on wheels at courtesy lanes para sa senior citizens, PWD at mga buntis.
Hiniling naman ng ahensya na bigyan ng budget ang mga temporary offsite passport sites na hanggang December 2022 na lang kung saan 500 applications kada araw ang napoproseso sa bawat site.
Tugon ni Marcos, kasama na ito sa pinabibigyan ng budget sa panukalang New Philippine Passport Act.
Kabilang din sa isinusulong ang pagkakaroon ng emergency passport.
“In theory, as a matter of principle, there may be some need for an emergency passport, regarding emergency or special cases. For example, a person whose relative died and will not have time to apply for ordinary passport but needs to go to a certain place,” ani Bensurto.
“A person who has to be somewhere and passport has lost. In those instances, it takes a 15-day clearing period. If circumstances justify it, we have to have some leeway to have personal travel but with some restrictions. But there are possible abuses thats why we are willing to work with staff. Cases where issued will have some seafety nets or safeguards to prevent abuse.”
Tinitingnan din ng DFA ang pagkakaroon ng mobile application para sa application ng passport.
Sa panukala hinggil sa lifetime validity ng passport, hindi sang-ayon dito ang DFA at dapat malimit lamang ito sa 10 taon.
“No country at moment doing that practice. We did inquiries with other governments on validity no countries thinking along those lines. I wanted to point out the difficulty with lifetime validity,” sabi ni Bensurto.
“In consideration of the limited durability of the document, and changing appearances of document holder, a validity of 10 years is recommended,” dagdag niya.
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