MANILA, Philippines — The convener of Action for Good Governance, Atty. Argee Guevarra, argues that the quality of the new batch of passports are substandard.
In a press conference this on Monday, Atty. Guevarra showed a leaf from a supposed newly printed passport given to him by his informant.
He said compared to the ones we have now, the new print is thinner and the embedded watermarks are not that clear.
He added this might be labelled as fake and will not pass the reading machines at airports locally and internationally.
This might result in possible detention and repatriation of passport holders and overseas Filipino workers who will use such passports.
“The new quality of paper and the corresponding watermarks, it will be revealed that the new passport paper wont even pass master the passport reading machines, locally and internationally,” Guevarra said.
Atty. Guevarra says DFA entered into a questionable transaction with Asian Productivity Organization or APO that is contracted to do the printing.
An informant allegedly told Guevarra that APO outsourced the printing through another private corporation, the United Graphic Expression Corporation (UGEC) without the permission from DFA.
“Our existing passports has specific watermarks specific thickness of paper, and yet because of the APO production outsourcing through anomalous joint venture agreement with private printing office, our use of passport are compromised,” Guevarra added.
Guevarra said UGEC is the company also involved in mighty cigarettes stamp issue.
As of this time, DFA has not yet issued a statement or comment on the matter. — Joyce Balancio | UNTV News and Rescue
DFA urges immediate repatriation of 21 Pinoy seafarers from India
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)
DFA shortens waiting period for passport applications
(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.
109 undocumented OFWs return home from Dubai
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.