Acquiring a Philippine passport is one of your investments when you consider going abroad to look for a better career. Although it may also be of necessity when you want to go on vacations outside the country.
Traveling is part of our lives and we should never deprive ourselves for it is the greatest gift God has endowed us. To explore is to be open to possibilities. To be imaginative.
Here at JuanInvestor, we cater all the facets of being an investor. That is why our topic now is about getting your passport. Passports are necessary when you are planning to go on a business or a leisure trip.
Aspire to have these two. But at different time, of course. While my officemate and I were scanning travel pages on the net, we stumbled upon several cheap travel tours and accommodations.
Until we hit on a site where it has a package to China for two for only Php 3,999!!! For 3 days, 2 nights stay, we could experience the Great Wall of China, the Chinese cuisine, the busy streets at Shanghai and anything else. Wow, is this true?
Shocked, I thought if that was a real deal or a scam. So I did some research. I found out that it was a legitimate site recommended by several travelers.
Doubts faded, I got so excited and planned to purchase. But I broke into silence when my friend suddenly said, “Bro, we don’t have a passport yet.” My smile faded. And I hated myself for not having a passport.
I imagined how tiring it would be to get a passport. Long lines, hours of waiting and silly fixers will be there for you. Good luck! There should be a better way. And I should have a passport.
Since then we planned to get a passport for mini-vacations and trips outside the archipelago. I scanned through Google for a couple of minutes. I found a website www.passport.gov.ph which is the official website of DFA for passport processing. I immediately accessed the site and there I found the answer to my dilemma.
I went through the side tab of the page and there I saw “Set an appointment”. I went through it and then I filled out the information sheet. I typed in my name, address, occupation and all the other personal details.
What amazed me with this platform is that you get to choose your appointment date and time!
Isn’t that good? Instead of going 4 AM at DFA office, falling in line, stumping other applicants’ foot, sweating ‘til you gone out of sweat, you now have the freedom to choose your own date and time at your convenience? What a breakthrough! I commend DFA for this great improvement.
Going back to my application. I chose my own appointment date and set it at 3:30 PM. I clicked the submit button. A message appeared that prompted me to verify the email sent to my email address. I checked my email address and there I received a link that needs to be verified within 24 hours. Else, it would expire.
So I clicked the link and there I was able to see a pdf file in 3 pages. The file contains important reminders on the first page, my application form on the second page and the application requirements on the third.
On the first page, it says there that I must print the file and be brought at the scheduled appointment. So I did. And that was all. I filed for a vacation leave on my appointment date and waited.
What To Do When You Are at DFA Aseana
When you arrive at DFA Aseana, prepare the appointment file that you’ve printed since it will be asked by the guard before you can enter.
Go to the table just in front where you entered. There is a desktop computer there with two staff. You need to present your appointment documents for validation of the bar code. They will remove the first page of that document and then tell you to wait at the waiting area.
If you’re appointment is set at 3:30 PM, look on the waiting areas there where you can see a signage with your appointment time. You may find a waiting area that has 3:00, 3:30, 4:00 or 4:30. Go to where your appointment time is. You will then wait for a couple of minutes before you are instructed to come inside the building.
You will go inside by batch. A staff will tell you that you can go inside. Prepare your appointment document.
You will then be seated and move like a trip-to-Jerusalem game. When one is done, you will move to the next seat and so forth until you reach your turn.
If you are a new applicant, you will be instructed to go to the 2nd Floor directly (I don’t know if this applies to passport renewal, lost passports, etc.)
Prepare your original and photocopied documents: Application form, Acceptable ID’s and supporting documents. You will be interviewed for 2-3 minutes. Then you have to present your original 2 valid ID’s. I presented my TIN, driver’s license and company ID. I was surprised when the interviewer only got my Application form, original NSO and company ID! He returned the rest of my documents. I wondered why. I even prepared my TOR and E1 for this. But they didn’t get it. Never mind. Better anyway that the processing was kinda swift. Smooth transaction.
You will then pay at the cashier for the passport fee of Php 950.00 (regular – 15 days) or Php 1,200 (express – 7 days).
Next is to secure for a priority number. There was a signage there that says “Get your Priority number here”. Else, ask the guard where it is.
The last part was the lazy part. I sit there for around 3:45 PM and was able to complete the process at 5:30 PM. The last part was the encoding and registration process. They will take a picture of you and your signature, and that’s it! You’re done!
If you want to have your passport delivered at your doorsteps, there is a delivery service located at the exit. You can see people in line there. For Php 120.00, you can have your passport delivered so you don’t have to go back at DFA for claiming it. So I paid P120 and I went home.
All in all I was impressed at the improvement they have. Kudos to DFA! And may you take advantage of this service that they have instead of the conventional early-fall-in-line method.
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Juan Investor is a personal finance and investing blog. We also cover a wide range of topics including e-commerce, entrepreneurship and cryptocurrency.