The Department of Foreign Affairs said that more passport appointment slots will soon be made available to the public.
“Just visit our appointment site every now and then because we will make available additional appointment slots even from February up to June,” DFA Assistant Secretary Frank Cimafranca of the Office of Consular Affairs said.
He said that 118,000 passport appointment slots have been opened to the public to ease the difficulty of setting a schedule to get a passport. He urged the public to be careful and not to entertain individual offering passport appointment slots in the internet. “We are warning people that they might become victims of a scam,” he said.
He said that a few days ago, an entrapment operation at their Alabang office resulted in the arrest of a man who was about to get his passport. “He claimed he was merely a victim. Yung application niya in-upload sa Internet nung nag-aalok ng appointment that’s why we were able to trace him. We are currently investigating this person,” Cimafranca said.
The DFA, he said, is also currently analyzing why appointment slots are immediately taken. “Ito ba ay legitimate na aplikante or ito ba ay parang nagre-reserve lang, mga enterprising na nagbebenta ng appointment slots,” he said.
He added that they are doing this so that they can “make the necessary technical solution to combat unscrupulous individuals who are trying to hijack appointment slots.”
Last week, the DFA launched its online portal for first-time overseas Filipino workers applying for a passport. The portal allows accredited recruitment agencies to secure for them passport appointment slots.