Locsin ends 'monopoly' in passport delivery service

Published August 11, 2021, 5:39 PM

by Roy Mabasa

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. has finally ended the “monopoly” of a private logistics provider following widespread complaint against delays and confusions that marred the delivery of passports to applicants.

Philippine passport (R. Mabasa)

“I finished off QRS. They’re dead and buried. Working on a new non p**a monopolist or I’m using a sledgehammer arrangement of multiple couriers non-giving kickbacks from which the public can pick,” Locsin said in a Twitter post Tuesday.

For the past several months, the DFA has been at the receiving end of mounting complaints over delays in delivery of passports, with fingers pointed directly to the “unresponsive” QRS.

The trouble actually began in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic last year when QRS suddenly took over the delivery services from the much reliable DFA Multi-Purpose Cooperative (DFAMPC) – LBC partnership, a move reportedly opposed by some rank and file employees of the DFA.

QRS or Quick Reliable Service is a firm closely identified with the APO Production Unit, the so-called government-owned and controlled corporation that bagged the multi-billion printing and personalization of Philippine passport.

In view of the public outrage over the delivery mess, Locsin ordered the termination of QRS services and directed the DFA’s Office of Consular Affairs to start vetting for possible replacement.

“That must be QRS, first I heard of this sorry outfit; they are totally out and it is back to the DFA Cooperative which ran it superbly in the past. We’re getting AIR21, LBC and others,” the foreign secretary said, in response to a netizen who was complaining about the delayed delivery of her passport.

Locsin said today, August 11, 2021, is the last day of QRS to render its services with the DFA as he assured that all passports that went through its system are “accounted for and being delivered”.

“Today is the last day of QRS whatever that it. All passports thenceforth accounted for and being delivered. No funeral service for QRS, we’re kicking it into a ditch, we can’t be bothered to dig an unmarked grave. Sorry again,” the DFA chief tweeted.