Temporary off-site passport services (TOPS) in three malls in Luzon halted their operations due to personnel contracting coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.
Consular service sites that were ordered temporary closure are TOPS in Robinsons Lipa, Robinsons Magnolia, and SM Manila.
The department said in an advisory that the temporary suspension of operations is "part of the department’s precautionary measures against the spread of COVID-19 amid the steep rise in cases in January 2022."
"Omicron has decimated the ranks of our personnel. We’ve temporarily closed Robinson’s Magnolia TOPS, CO Manila (SM Manila) and CO Lipa (Robinson’s Lipa) due to Covid infections. Apologies for the inconvenience," DFA Undersecretary Brigido Dulay said on Twitter Wednesday, Jan. 5.
Omicron has decimated the ranks of our personnel. We’ve temporarily closed Robinson’s Magnolia TOPS, CO Manila (SM Manila) & CO Lipa (Robinson’s Lipa) due to Covid infections. Apologies for the inconvenience. A public advisory to be issued shortly for affected applicants. pic.twitter.com/ak3P766dll— Dodo Dulay (@dododulay) January 5, 2022
Consular Office (CO) inside Robinsons Place in Lipa is closed from Jan. 4 until further notice for disinfection of its premises. The DFA said affected applicants have been contacted by CO Lipa via email@example.com. Applicants may also contact the CO for urgent concerns via email.
The TOPS in Robinsons Magnolia in Quezon City is temporarily closed on Jan. 5. Affected applicants may, however, proceed to this site on Jan. 6 and from Jan. 10 to 14 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for their rescheduled appointments. Applicants were also told to contact supervising CO-National Capital Region (NCR) Northeast through firstname.lastname@example.org.
Operations of CO NCR West located in SM City Manila are suspended from Jan. 6 to 7 after its personnel were identified as close contacts of a COVID-positive case. Affected applicants shall receive an email from email@example.com regarding their new schedule.
The department appealed for the public's "continued understanding as it adheres to the prescribed measures against the COVID-19 pandemic for the safety of personnel and applicants."
The agency announced on Jan. 5 that unvaccinated applicants, including minors, will not be accommodated in any TOPS in malls located in areas placed under alert level 3.