DFA opens 100,000 new passport appointment slots – GMA News Online


The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has opened 100,000 additional online passport appointment slots amid public clamor, GMA News’ JP Soriano reported on 24 Oras on Tuesday.
The slots will be for February to May, the DFA said.
The DFA has come under fire recently from Filipinos because of difficulties in getting appointment through the agency’s online facilities.
The DFA’s Facebook page has been flooded with complaints from people unable to get appointments earlier than March, with some accusing it of conniving with travel agencies to sell slots for P5,000 and above.
Both the DFA and the travel agencies have denied this, although Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said they suspect of syndicates that use “bots” to “grab” slots and sell them.
“We’re looking kung gaano kabilis maubos ‘yung slots and we’re suspecting na merong ‘bots’ na kung tawagin sa IT na naga-grab [ng slots],” he said.
To help the public and decongest consular offices, the DFA recently launched its Passport on Wheels that will be deployed in different areas in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.
On Monday, the DFA brought its Passport on Wheels in Capas, Tarlac, where over 1,000 applicants who were earlier registered by the local government were accommodated. —KBK, GMA News

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