PNP runs after Facebook accounts, pages offering passport appointment slot for a fee

Published October 23, 2021, 1:00 PM

by Aaron Recuenco 

Payment to obtain appointment slot for the processing of passport from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is illegal and the Philippine National Police (PNP) said they will run after those who have been doing this, especially those who have been advertising it on social media.

PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar said he had already instructed the Anti-Cybercrime Group to help in identifying those who are behind the appoint-slot-for-a-fee scheme especially through Facebook.

The directive came after Department of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Brigido Dulay asked the PNP and the National Bureau of Investigation to unmask those behind Facebook pages and groups that offer a swift passport appointment process to applicants. Appointment slots for all consular services are free, the DFA has emphasized.

The DFA also asked Facebook to identify and take down these accounts to prevent the public from getting swindled into paying for a service that is completely free of charge.

“We were informed of the request for assistance by the DFA regarding this and in response, I have instructed our ACG to conduct investigation and carry out operations if necessary to arrest and hold accountable those behind this modus,” said Eleazar.

“We will not allow these people to take advantage of the people, especially our OFWs, because of the situation we are in right now,” he added.

Eleazar also appealed to the public not to patronize the offers on social media and immediately report to authorities their illegal activities.

He said those who have been victimized by this scam can file their complaints through the various platforms of the PNP’s e-Sumbong.