DFA halts processing of passport applications in Luzon

JC Gotinga
DFA halts processing of passport applications in Luzon
In the Visayas and Mindanao, DFA consular offices will operate with skeleton workforces, and will accommodate only applicants with urgent consular needs, such as overseas Filipino workers and those with medical emergencies

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has suspended consular operations throughout Luzon and has scaled down in the Visayas and Mindanao as parts of the country go on community quarantine to avert the spread of the novel coronavirus.

This means appointments for passport applications are on hold in Luzon and strictly limited in the Visayas and Mindanao until further notice, the DFA announced on Tuesday, March 17.

The DFA’s Office of Consular Affairs in Aseana, Parañaque City, and all consular offices in Luzon are temporarily closed.

Luzon is in “enhanced community quarantine” starting Tuesday until April 12. Several provinces in the rest of the country have done the same. Beginning March 20, there won’t be outbound international flights from any point of Luzon until the lockdown ends. (LIST: Areas in PH under quarantine, curfews, state of calamity)

Passport applicants in Luzon with confirmed appointments will be accommodated once operations resume, the DFA said.

In the Visayas and Mindanao, DFA consular offices will be operating with skeleton workforces, and will accommodate only applicants with urgent consular needs, such as overseas Filipino workers and those with medical emergencies.

Visayas and Mindanao consular offices will also temporarily halt operations on Saturdays.

Passport applicants in the Visayas and Mindanao with confirmed appointments set for March 9 to April 8, including those with confirmed appointments on Saturdays, will be accommodated from April 13 to May 29 during regular office hours, except on Saturdays.

This same schedule applies to people seeking authentication and civil registration services in the Visayas and Mindanao. In Luzon, applicants must wait until further notice.

“This temporary arrangement is in support of the declarations of various local community quarantines and the current nationwide public health efforts to curb the spread of [the novel coronavirus],” the DFA said.

Applicants with questions or emergencies may get in touch with the DFA Consular Office where their appointment was scheduled. The may also send an email to oca.concerns@dfa.gov.ph or call 86519400 for questions or inquiries, the DFA said.  – Rappler.com

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JC Gotinga

JC Gotinga often reports about the West Philippine Sea, the communist insurgency, and terrorism as he covers national defense and security for Rappler. He enjoys telling stories about his hometown, Pasig City. JC has worked with Al Jazeera, CNN Philippines, News5, and CBN Asia.