A blog by Jacqueline Tabora

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I've been living for 26 years on this Earth and never did I think of getting a passport. I don't know. Maybe it does not bother me that I don't have one? I don't have plans to go abroad for work or leisure; or even if I did, my lazy self says not to bother as it is laborious to get one?

But I eventually applied for one, though. As a requirement for my new job, I endured the process of fixing my personal records. It was not easy though. I had issues with my birth certificate not being NSO-certified, or PSA-certified; and then when I got the certified copy I did not have my first name on it, thus I have to bear another set of tiresome process. 


And so after a couple of months of fixing my birth certificate, to the DFA Office I go. The online DFA Passport appointment website where you can get a schedule is almost always two-months ahead full, so for example, if you check and see a schedule today, most probably the available ones will start on September already, as the July and August slots are already occupied. I set my passport appointment in May, and I got a vacant slot on July 11.

BEFORE THE SCHEDULE

Before laying your hand on that precious passport though, here's what you need to do in order to be able to apply for a passport in the DFA Office:

1. Make sure you have a scheduled passport appointment. You can set one at the DFA Passport Appointment website.

2. Print the application form. IT SHOULD BE PRINTED ON AN A4 size paper.  

3. Check your requirements. When you go to the DFA Office on the day of your passport application appointment, you must have the following:
  • application form printed on an A4 size paper
  • a photocopy of your IDs (See the list of accepted IDs below)
  • your original PSA-certified birth certificate.** (They take the actual/original copy, so if you need another copy, you have to order it from PSA. Better yet order multiple copies in one go.)
  • the original copies of your IDs

ON THE DAY OF YOUR APPOINTMENT

1. Present your application form to the entrance security. Once your name is found on the list of scheduled applicants, proceed to the receptionist's desk.

2. Submit all your requirements, (original birth certificate, photocopy of the IDs and the original copies, and application form). 

3. Proceed to the verification section. Your requirements will be reviewed.***

*** I encountered an issue on this step as the DFA staff did not accept one of my IDs. I presented a UMID and a PAG-IBIG ID. Both IDs are the digitized versions, yet the PAG-IBIG ID was not accepted. He asked me for my voter's ID, NBI clearance and E1 form for SSS, but I did not bring any of those. I tried presenting my PHILHEALTH, TIN ID, POSTAL ID but they got rejected because they are the laminated versions.

4. Proceed to Payment Window to pay for your passport application. Here are the rates:

PHP 950 - regular (two-week processing)
PHP 1200 - express (one-week processing)

PHP 150 - optional if you want it delivered instead of personal pick up from the DFA branch.

5. Proceed to the encoding section. Wait for your queue number to be called. It is advisable to not wear earrings or necklace, as I saw some girls being asked to remove it during the image capture process.  Check your details encoded in the computer, submit your digital fingerprints and digital signature. You'll be asked if you want the passport to be delivered or just picked up. If you chose the former, you have to pay for the PHP 150 stated above. 

You're done! (Leave a feedback by filling out their feedback survey form.)


Acceptable IDs for Passport Application
*** To avoid inconvenience and wasting time going to the DFA Office and eventually get rejected in the verification process, better prepare and bring most of the IDs and supporting documents listed below. I tried just bringing the IDs and not any of the supporting documents, yet they were also asking for the papers ("partially valid" lang yung digitized IDs, ganun? Tsk.)

Acceptable IDs:

Digitized IDs - these are the credit card type of IDs, not the laminated ones (SSS ID, GSIS E-card, Driver's license, PRC ID, IBP ID, UMID, Senior Citizen's ID)

(Old college ID, Alumni ID, and old employment IDs are also on the list) - how on earth is it possible that an old employment ID is more powerful than a recent one (that I also presented), and the digitized PAG-IBIG Loyalty ID being not on the list is beyond me.

Supporting documents (according to the DFA list, present at least two of the following.):

PSA Marriage contract
Land Title
Seaman's Book
Elementary or High School Form 137 or TOR with readable dry seal
Government Service Record
NBI Clearance
Police Clearance
Barangay Clearance
SSS E1 form
Voter's certification or List of Voter's and Voter's Certification record (if the receipt is available, please include it)
School Yearbook
Digitized Postal ID

As per the DFA guidelines, the supporting documents should be at least one year prior to the date of application that shows correct name, date, and place of birth, picture, and signature of the applicant.


-----END----

Please DFA, IDs should somehow suffice for this kind of process. Applicants comply with the requirements, yet you demand more when what is sufficiently needed is already presented.

I eventually finished the process, though. There was a minor pissing-me-off party in the verification process, but I shrugged it off and tried to be positive for the 20-30 minutes I stayed there. 

Waiting for my passport to be delivered. ✌✌✌✌✌✌✌✌

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