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DFA opens passport appointment slots from July to September

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Philippine passports

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced Wednesday that its online appointment system will start accepting new applications and renewal of passports for the months of July to September.

DFA, however, clarified that the system will not open for appointments to the DFA-Aseana Complex in Parañaque City. DFA Assistant Secretary Frank Cimafranca said this is because the e-payment system in the said consular office is still being processed.

The e-payment system is a mechanism designed by DFA which allows applicants to pay fees online. It aims to stop bogus applicants and fixers. It also fast tracks the processing of passport applications.

“This time they will not do that because they will have to pay upfront so only people with urgent and legitimate need to have a passport will really book online,” explained Cimafranca.

Following the pilot-testing conducted by DFA in the e-payment system, appearance rate of passport applicants has increased to 95%.

DFA admits that the bulk of passport applications pose a great challenge to the agency. They call on the public’s understanding of the matter.

“We are not trying to prevent people from applying for a passport. Ang pakiusap lang namin kung hindi naman kailangan agad (All we ask is that if it’s not urgent) then bear with us and just wait for the opportunity by availing online appointment system,” Asec. Cimafrance concluded. — Joan Nano | UNTV News & Rescue

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DFA urges immediate repatriation of 21 Pinoy seafarers from India

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, October 11th, 2018

MV Evangelia M; abandoned seafarers at Kakinada port in India

PASAY CITY, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is putting more pressure on Evic Human Resources Management for the immediate repatriation of 21 Filipino seafarers abandoned at Kakinada port in India.

Philippine Vice Consul to India JB Santos together with an Indian Honorary Consul visited the 21 Filipinos to check on their situation.

They were abandoned by a Greek International Company over bankruptcy.

Since then, they suffered months without salary, with nothing to send their families in the Philippines.

Santos and his team explained to them the process that they have to go through before their repatriation.

Though the process may take about a month, the abandoned crew members are relieved as their case is now being processed.

The DFA also provided them with financial assistance at least for their personal needs while waiting to be repatriated.

“Nag bigay din ang DFA ng cash assistance na $100 dollars bawat crew.  At least may pantawag na kami ulit at pang-internet. Humingi din kami ng legal assistance para makuha yung unpaid wages at nangako naman si Vice Consul JB Santos na magagawa nila yun, na kukuha sila ng magaling na lawyer,” the ship’s captain, Alexander Apao said.

They expressed gratitude to those who continue to extend a helping hand despite their situation.

“Natuwa pa rin ang crew kahit matagalan pa kami ng konti at least may maliwanag na makakauwi kami. Malaki ang pasalamat ng crew sa DFA at na-aksyunan agad ang aming kalagayan dito at sa UNTV na laging nakatutok at maipaalam itong aming kalagayan,” Apao concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from JL Asayo)

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DFA shortens waiting period for passport applications

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, September 27th, 2018

(File photo) Philippine passport and application form

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs announced that beginning October 1, applicants who paid P950 processing fee can collect their passports at the DFA consular offices in Metro Manila within 12 working days, while those who paid P1,200 processing fee may pick up their passports within 6-7 days.

Applicants outside Metro Manila may collect their passports after 12 working days instead of the previous 20.

Those who availed the expedited processing may get their passports after 7 working days instead of 10.

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109 undocumented OFWs return home from Dubai

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, September 20th, 2018

Undocumented OFWs who availed the amnesty program of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Department of Foreign Affairs

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday brought home 109 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Dubai.

The agency has now repatriated a total of 838 OFWs since the amnesty program began in August.

The Office of Migrant Workers Affairs shouldered airline tickets, exit fines and other penalties of the returning OFWs.

Each of the repatriates were given financial assistance of P5,000 as part of the government’s “all-out support” for the returning OFWs.

“Your presence here today demonstrates the kind of care and compassion President Duterte has for our overseas workers,” Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Sarah Lou Y. Arriola said

She also reminded all Filipinos who are seeking employment overseas to make sure that they go through the proper application process and follow the rules and regulations of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

Undocumented Filipinos who wish to return to the Philippines under this program will be assisted by the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai and the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi.

Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes encouraged qualified Filipinos to take advantage of the UAE’s amnesty program before the 31 October 2018 deadline, to give the Embassy and the Consulate General ample time to process the necessary documents.

(Source: DFA)

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