MANILA, Philippines – To help migrant Filipinos, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) will soon convert its satellite office in Robinsons Galleria mall exclusively for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) applying for passports.
In a news conference, DFA spokesman Charles Jose said this will make the passport application process more convenient for OFWs who also need to go to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), just across EDSA.
“Our DFA satellite office in Robinsons Galleria will be made exclusively for OFWs,” Jose said on Tuesday, May 31.
“Coming from POEA, if they have any business that they need to transact with POEA, they just have to cross the street, cross EDSA, and they can go to Robinsons Galleria for their passport application,” he added.
At the same time, Jose said the DFA is operating a “courtesy lane” exclusively for OFWs applying for passports.
This is in contrast to general courtesy lanes that OFWs have already been allowed to use in the past.
‘Hindi na nila kailangan maghintay’
This exclusive OFW courtesy lane is available at the DFA office in ASEANA Business Park, at Bradco Avenue corner Macapagal Boulevard, Parañaque City. While the DFA does not offer a OFW courtesy lane in its other offices, OFWs can still avail of general courtesy lanes there.
The courtesy lane will allow OFWs to apply for passports without booking passport application appointments online. OFWs only need to bring documents such as employment contracts and plane tickets.
Jose said this will help OFWs with “urgent employment” opportunities abroad, requiring them to leave the Philippines as soon as possible. He said this will address the problem of having to wait for around two months to get a passport appointment through the regular process. (READ/WATCH: DFA warns applicants who miss passport appointments)
“With this new measure, hindi na nila kailangan maghintay pa,” he said. (With this new measure, they don’t need to wait.)
Referring to the DFA’s new services for OFWs, Jose said, “This is to show that we are giving importance to our OFWs and the contributions that they give to the country’s economy.” – Rappler.com