DFA Chief slams passport application fixers, assures public on service improvement

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. slammed passport fixers anew as he debunked an applicant's suspicion that the difficulty in booking of appointments "is a ploy to enrich" fixers.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. (File photo/Malacañang)

Locsin stressed on Wednesday, March 2, that they continue to go after passport fixers, "who are like Gremlins" as he responded to a netizen's post airing her months-long struggle on securing an appointment date for passport renewal.

"We won't stop until they're all burned," he said on Twitter Wednesday, March 2.

The passport applicant in Bacolod, through her post on Facebook, sought the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for clarification on her suspicion.

"I have been trying since last year. I am beginning to suspect that this is a ploy to enrich fixers. I might be wrong though. So please send this post to a DFA personnel so they can clarify," the applicant said.

The applicant also said that it seemed like the DFA has not been releasing new slots for passport applications and renewals since last year, to which Locsin bellied.

"I understand your frustration, but it's untrue that there aren't applications/renewals. We've been adding more slots and opened more off-sites to address demand," the Philippines top diplomat said.

In October last year, Locsin assured the public, especially those struggling to secure passport appointments, that they are running after alleged fixers within the agency after an applicant also aired his concerned of the alleged modus of some employees, including those who have already retired from service.

The concerned individual then claimed that there is a "syndicate" of fixers within the agency who charge applicants with unreasonable fees that range from P2,500 to P3,500 for an appointment slot and swifter processing of passports.

READ MORE: DFA is running after passport fixers — Locsin