This July 2016, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs in Cebu finally rolled out the online system of setting appointments for people applying for their Philippine Passports. There are no more walk-ins accepted, which hopefully translates to streamlined queues and processes.
What does this mean for individuals who need assistance from a Cebu travel agency? Well, the process generally remains the same in the sense that travel agencies will vet through the requirements so that one does not lose precious time of being advised to procure additional supporting documents if and when necessary. However, in terms of appointment setting, the travel agencies will now also go through the online portal.
The DFA still continues to accredit travel agencies for the latter to be able to assist in passport processing. Accredited agencies go through a process of having to submit proper business documents, and even have to secure a bond with the GSIS. Green Earth Tours and Travel is a Cebu-based travel agency which has complied with the accreditation requirements of the DFA. We have a liaison officer who reviews our clients documents and accompanies them onsite at the DFA.
With the online system step-up, the DFA is now particular with the schedules set. Applicants are advised to be at least 30 minutes ahead of scheduled appointment. Applicants who need passport assistance from a travel agency can be assured that Green Earth Tours and Travel will have the original and photocopies of the documentary requirements during the set personal appearance. Application processing may be delayed if the applicants are not ready with copies of their documents once inside the data capturing site. Green Earth Tours and Travel will also print the application form (with barcode) as you need the printed application form to show and submit at the DFA.
Passport application may be done on your own or through a travel agency. However, note that going through travel agencies does not in anyway help speed up the process of approving your application and releasing your passport. Be wary of entities misrepresenting such.
If you need assistance for your passport application, please call Green Earth Tours and Travel at (032) 2386625 or visit us at our office in Suite 203 Cardoc Building, No. 5 Mango Avenue, 6000 Cebu City.