Starting today, Sept. 24, releasing of all passports at the Office of Consular Affairs (OCA) in ASEANA Business Park will be relocated to the Ground Floor of the Double Dragon Plaza building along Macapagal Blvd. in Pasay City.
In an advisory, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the relocation of passport releasing is being undertaken to decongest the OCA which has been experiencing long lines due to the transfer of passport appointments to the main office in ASEANA from consular offices in the NCR that had to temporarily close for disinfection and other COVID-19 related issues.
Passports will be released at the Double Dragon site from Mondays to Fridays (except public holidays), 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM.
“OCA is doing its best to serve clients in a timely manner, and there is no need to go to DFA ASEANA very early in the morning to be able to avail of consular services within the day,” the DFA said.
Before going to the releasing site, applicants are advised to check the status of their passports first through the DFA website’s Passport Tracking System and Pending Application Tracker.
The Foreign Affairs office further explained that the situation at the OCA was aggravated by the big number of applicants who were personally picking up their passports at the DFA following the severance of relations with the Department’s previous courier service provider.
Last month, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. ordered the termination of QRS (Quick Reliable Service) as the official service provider of passport delivery of the Department following widespread complaints against delays and confusion in the delivery of passports to applicants who paid an extra amount to avail of the services at the comfort of their homes.
In the aftermath of the termination of the service provider, over two thousand passports were rendered undeliverable due to erroneous addresses or the lack of authorization letters from applicants who were not personally present at their declared addresses. Said passports were then turned over to the DFA for release to the applicants themselves.
Aside from the relocation of passport releasing from ASEANA to the Double Dragon building, the Department is also gearing up for the opening of more Temporary Offsite Passport Services (TOPS) sites in the National Capital Region (NCR) and other provinces in order to relieve the pressure on all its 36 consular offices nationwide.