Cayetano to scrap passport appointment system

Paterno Esmaquel II
Cayetano to scrap passport appointment system

Rappler.com

'Our goal is that when you walk in, you will be able to apply for your passport,' Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano says

MANILA, Philippines – Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano vowed to scrap the passport appointment system as he prefers walk-in passport applicants at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). 

In his first flag ceremony as DFA chief, Cayetano said he wants to know what his agency can do “to speed up the process and remove the appointment system” in applying for passports.

“Our goal is that when you walk in, you will be able to apply for your passport, and in a few days, you will get your passport. And later on, like in the US, you can apply for it in the post office,” Cayetano said Monday, May 22.

The DFA secretary said he has ordered the official in charge of passports, Foreign Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs Frank Cimafranca, to work with his transition team and meet with those responsible for the passport system. 

Cayetano said he expects a memo soon detailing how this plan can be achieved. He said the deadline for this memo is when he returns from President Rodrigo Duterte’s ongoing official visit to Russia. 

“I want to know how they’re going to do it,” Cayetano said.

He enumerated options such as getting more machines, employing more casual employees, and talking to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for additional funds.

Kung hindi available kaagad ang additional funds for casuals or for contractuals for this (If additional funds aren’t immediately available for casuals or contractual workers for this), while I’m talking to the DBM, use my salary so that we can start right away,” Cayetano said. 

Cayetano, one of Duterte’s closest associates, earlier said speeding up the passport system is one of his priorities. He began his first full day as DFA chief, in fact, by touring the DFA passport processing area in ASEANA, Parañaque City.


Duterte himself said in his first State of the Nation Address that it is “really painful” for him to see long lines of passport applicants. “I do not want to see people lining up under the heat of the sun. I do not want people lining up under the rain,” the President said. – Rappler.com

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Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.