Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Umayos kayo! Castelo mulls congressional probe on DFA passport appointment mess

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) must have a reasonable explanation regarding the mounting complaints on online passport application.

If not, Quezon City Rep. Winnie Castelo said he is thinking of urging his fellow lawmakers to conduct a congressional investigation into the matter, which has so far affected a lot of Filipinos including those working abroad.

“I will be asking the DFA for a report to see if there’s a need for the House [of Representatives] to investigate this issue,” said Castelo, who is the vice chair of the House Committee for OFWs.

The DFA has drawn flak from Filipinos applying for passport renewal due to difficulties in getting appointment through the agency’s website. Most of the complaints came from OFWs.

“Please don’t make passport renewal difficult for OFWs especially those who are in the country for a short vacation and who need to return soon to the countries where they are working,” the politiko appealed to DFA.

Castelo stressed that a special link should be established in the DFA online appointment system “so they (OFWs) can be given priority appointment dates.”

“[OFWs] should have the option to make online appointments instead of going directly to the DFA office to renew their passport,” he said.

“One will never know how long the line would be so there is no guarantee that they can be attended to once they go to the DFA,” he added.

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