MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Thursday, June 14, launched its ePayment portal that requires passport applicants to “pre-pay” their passport processing fees before their appointments at DFA consular offices.
In a press release on Thursday, June 14, Foreign Assistant Secretary Frank Cimafranca said the ePayment system “will initially apply for applications lodged at the DFA Aseana Consular Office” along President Diosdado Macapagal Avenue, Parañaque City, beginning June.
The system “would be rolled out in Metro Manila in July and nationwide by August,” Cimafranca said.
“With ePayment, we expect that no-shows in our consular offices will be significantly reduced, if not totally eliminated. By pre-paying, applicants are encouraged to show up lest they forfeit their passport processing fee,” Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said.
Cayetano said that without ePayment, only 60-65% of applicants show up for their passport application appointments in DFA consular offices.
When the DFA tested ePayment at DFA Aseana, Cayetano said 94-97% of passport applicants showed up for their appointments.
“Applicants can pay the passport processing fee through any of the following payment centers: Bayad Center; EcPay; Pera Hub; Robinsons Business Center and Department Store; Walter Mart Department Store; 7-Eleven; USCC Western Union; and Villarica Pawnshop. Other payment centers as well as credit/debit card payment facility will be made available soon,” the DFA said.
The agency said the public can access more information about the ePayment portal through this link. The public can also call the DFA’s help desk at (02) 234 3488, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The DFA also said it was opening 100,000 passport application slots on Thursday, June 14.
Cayetano added that, after this, the DFA would open 10,000 slots from Monday to Saturday, except holidays, such as June 15. He said that on these days, the DFA would open 5,000 slots at noon and 5,000 more at 9 pm. – Rappler.com