DFA Eyes Online Passport Appointments For Hong Kong, Singapore OFWs in 2019
Filipinos based in Hong Kong and Singapore will no longer need to go to the Philippine consular offices to renew their passports once an online appointment system becomes ready in 2019, Vice Consul Fatima G. Quintin said.
“Ang karamihan po sa atin ang day-off ay one day lang kaya masuwerte tayo dahil sa atin iintroduce yung online appointment system. Hopefully at the latest, first quarter of next year,” Quintin said during Filipino community meeting on November 11 at the Philippine Consulate General in Admiralty.
“Kapag naayos na ito, hindi na kailangan pumunta dito at i-waste yung hard-earned day-off ninyo para pumila lamang for an appointment,” she added.
In a report by the Hong Kong News, Quintin also asked the Department of Foreign Affairs to develop a smartphone app for online passport appointment as many Filipino workers do not own personal computers.
“Kaya nagrequest kami specifically kung pwede gawing app na lamang ang passport appointment,” she said.
A DFA team was set to visit the Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong to prepare the implementation of this service enhancement, Quintin revealed. She also reminded Filipinos that they can already renew their passport one year before it expiry date.
“Yung one year before pinapayagan na, lalo na kung magrerenew ng kontrata,” she said.
New passports are now released after just six weeks. In the past applicants had to wait for two months.
“Ang passport releasing ay mas mabilis na ngayon from two months ay, since July, six weeks na lang. So, nakatipid tayo at ngayon ay two weeks faster,” she said.