DFA wants Facebook to take down pages peddling paid passport appointments

Published October 22, 2021, 2:14 PM

by Betheena Unite

After seeking the help of local investigation bureau and police, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is now calling on Facebook to take down pages on its platform allegedly responsible for peddling charged passport appointment services to desperate Filipinos.

(FILE PHOTO/JANSEN ROMERO/MANILA BULLETIN)

“They never stop,” Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Brigido Dulay said as he expressed his frustration over the proliferation of pages and groups on the social networking site offering a swift appointment process to applicants.

“Facebook, please take this page down,” Dulay also said, referring to a page shared by a concerned netizen on Twitter.

The undersecretary disclosed that they have already sought the help of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to look into the passport appointment scam.

“We’ve asked the help of NBI and PNP to unmask these scammers,” Dulay said.

“I’ve asked our ISU (Intelligence and Security Unit) to work (with) NBI and PNP cybercrime units to investigate this and similar scams and catch the perpetrators,” Dulay added.

He reiterated that appointment slots for all consular services are free and urged the public not to patronize or fall for these scams.

Meanwhile, a temporary offsite passport services (TOPS) in Visayas became operational on Oct. 21. It is located at the SM Seaside Cebu City.

It is expected to handle around 300 applicants daily.

It is supervised by a DFA Consular Office (CO) and all frontline operations, such as passport processing and encoding are done off site. Any follow-ups and additional requests are carried out by the Supervising Consular Office.

 
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