February 22, Monday – I left my family (Tina + Gabby) at home  (date was declared as special local holiday for schools because of EDSA Revolution anniversary) and rode LRT line 2 from our place, then MRT from Araneta Center-Cubao Terminal Station up to this EDSA-Taft-Pasay LRT Station. 

I went to Department of Foreign Affairs in Pasay City to get Tina and Gabby’s new passports. Believe it or not, it took me only less than 5 minutes to claim it.  So their previous green passports are now machine-readable-maroon…(sometimes, I imagine them blue! *wishful thinking*)

I renewed mine 2 years ago and will expire 2013 while  Tina and Gabby’s passports are valid until 2015.

Allow me to share these old and new passport photos of our little biggest bundle of joy…

Isn’t he a grown little good-looking man at 5 ?  😀  That photo on the right was taken at 4:30AM hence the morning face.  🙂  How time flies so fast!  His first passport + photo were taken when he was 4 months old; apparently, he’s really a happy baby; the photographer at the studio in a mall did not find any difficulty making him smile giggle.   His old passport was stamped at Hong Kong, Brunei and Auckland, NZ airports.  We traveled with his Graco stroller then; even used it on buses in NZ. 😀

I have claimed their new passports in a jiffy but they have applied for its renewal for several hours!

Flashback : February 01, 2010, Monday — Gabby was absent from preschool class and made a personal appearance at DFA. Although kids of his age who’d like to apply/renew their passports can just leave everything to their parents/guardians, and adults can have the process via on-line scheduling too,  Tina and I opted to do it traditionally and brought Gabby to avoid any hassles. Turned out to be we’re in for a big old hassle!

Ang saya!  We woke up at 3:30AM and arrived at DFA at around 4:30 in the morning.  The basketball court-waiting area was already packed!  Nothing has changed since I have renewed mine a couple of years ago.  Unlike Boarding Gates at any airports where passengers with child/ren and/or geriatric individuals may board first,  at DFA, they only give considerations to pregnant and old applicants only.  

Yes, it was very systematic but looong queues were still there. We’re done with application, verification, processing and encoding (inside the DFA auditorium) at 9:20AM flat.  It was really exhausting. 😦

Imagine, until last Monday, the scene was the same…

But let’s thank God for change!  Have you heard that DFA Consular facility +passport services will be moving to its new state-of-the-art building located at Diosdado Macapagal Avenue in Pasay City ?

“Instead of sweltering heat, our consular clients will be greeted with cool air at the moment they enter our doors. Instead of monobloc chairs, they will wait their turn sitting on ergonomically-designed stainless steel benches. Instead of long queues, they can shorten their wait by accessing our online appointment system. Instead of going from building to building, they only need to move from ground to second floor,” DFA Secretary Alberto Romulo said.

DFA consular personnel, Romulo added, would also enjoy the convenience of modern work stations, furniture and equipment.

The building was acquired for a price of P530 million with the assistance of the Development Bank of the Philippines.

The facility will be opened to the public once it is formally inaugurated in the next few weeks. For the time being and until further notice, the consular services requirements of the public will continue to be attended to at the DFA’s existing consular facilities along Roberts Street.

Source : KBK, GMANews.TV

 Ang mahal pala ng change! 😀

26 thoughts on “LET’S WELCOME CHANGE

  1. napaka inconvenient naman pala ng application/renewal process, susmarya ang aga naman ng gising nyo 😦

    dito yata by mail application, then you’ll receive your new passport via mail din, very convenient. of course i can say the usps is very reliable, ewan ko lang kung pwede sa atin yan. my experience with phil postal service is not all that satisfactory kc.

    wow buti pa si gabby andami ng stamps ng passport 😀

  2. i remember the time when my mother and I stood in the line for many hours to get our passport and this was in 1984… your blog never fails to make me feel nostalgic. my mom is visiting this april she is going to Bicol.

  3. I first got my passport last 2008 and it’s already machine readble. I didnt fall in line too, i just let my money work for me. Hello Teleserve! Ü

      1. nye ikaw pa. hehe

        wag ka, nainggit ako sa may mga Epassport, so Im getting mine! P950 tapos ang appointment ko ay sa May28 pa. Ok lang kasi lapit lang ng ASEANA Business Park, Bradco Avenue corner Macapagal Boulevard dito sa office. Looks sosyal yung bldg! Ü

  4. ang cute ni gabby! kakatuwa yung transformation! he! he!

    i always wonder how come there are soooo many people applying for/renewing passports. parang hindi nauubusan ng Pilipino! i mean, hindi naman lahat ng pinoy nag-aaply for passport. pero bakit parang araw-araw na lang super daming tao sa dfa? 🙂

    1. true! it is as if all pinoys wanted to go abroad either to work or to go somewhere for a leisure trip. i cannot blame them.

      i still believe even dfa has been observing order in the entire process of application/renewal of passports, some things should be done to enhance their service and to avoid their office to be cramped all the time. it worries me to much when i see long queues. i hate waiting in line. i still have to work on my patience. now i’m pointing fingers at myself not at their system. haha! 😀

  5. Hi doc, I’m an avid reader of your blog and I’m subscribed even to your feeds. There’s actually an easier and quicker way of applying and renewing passports at DFA (both MRP and e-passport). It’s through their Online Appointment System where you will be given a schedule (exact date and time) of your appearance. There’s no need to line up in the basketball court for scheduling in the wee hours of the morning. There are also special lanes for the online applicants in the verification area kaya super bilis and super short lang ng lines. I just renewed mine and applied a new passport for my 2 yr old son last month in just 30 minutes. You might want to read my experience in my blog. 😀

  6. .. ibang iba na itsura ni gab sa passport pic nya ano. i just recently renewed mine last year at poea, tyaga nga lang sa pila, lam mo naman gaano kami kadaming ofw. dyan sa dfa na yan dai manggagantso, nung second renewal ko ng passport years ago muntik na madali P1,500 ko! tapos nung nakita picture id ko di daw pwede dahil long hair? ano yun papagupit muna ko?! ginawa ko tinali ko na lang then ayun nagpapicture uli!

    .. P530 million? nye, ba’t ang mahal?! oh, kasi nga . . change!

  7. hehehe ang laki ng change ni gabby. buti na din at bumilis na nga ang pila sa dfa. at least may isang government agency na mabilis kumilos :p

    let’s see how fast this new system will work hehehe

  8. It’s really good for traveling Pinoys to finally use machine-readable passports. This means less hassle and scrutiny at immigration counters anywhere in the world. How about the expiry though, is it still only 5 years valid? (US passports are good for 10). BTW, I read your post re your brother’s fridge magnet collections – he must be yearning to travel to Europe again as he looks at them daily. Time for a new passport for him as well?

    1. yes, passports here do have 5 year validity only. i don’t know, they have their reasons.

      thanks for viewing my post about my brother’s collection. he’s currently applying to become an international flight steward and his other option is to join another cruise ship for his seaman’s blue book is still valid. i envy him for being well traveled at the age of 25. i’m proud of his go-getter attitude. wish i was like him when i was his age but i was so engrossed with my med books back then. no i shouldn’t entertain regrets. ha ha!

  9. doc, bakit kelangan pa ng personal appearance if renew lang naman? dba pag 1st time lang mag apply ng passport ang kelangan ng personal appearance sa DFA?

    i still have the green passport and will expire 2011. hindi pa naman lahat required na maroon na lahat ng passports dba kahit na sa 2011 pa mag eexpire yung akin?

    doc pa clarify naman, naguluhan ako bigla hehe. sensha na doc hehe 😉

    1. hi dyanie. perhaps you can figure out now that i am a bit OC; this is just one of my manifestations, LOL (baka maniwala kang may psych disorder ako, haha!) i know that teleserve and on-line scheduling would be so much comfortable rather than going there to queue and go through the entire process. but i prefer it that way; para dala namin lahat ng documents na pwede hanapin sa processing window.

      before i renewed my passport back in 2008, i witnessed a dfa staff demanding too much credentials from a passport applicant-would you believe even a HS yearbook was asked from that poor guy? hindi ko naman dinala yearbook namin, haha.. pwede ngang si tina at gabby na lang ang pumunta dun, pero i accompanied them (which is bawal pero since i escorted my son, i gained access).

      isa pang gusto namin ng personal kami na nagparenew kasi yung last part ay encoding of details.. they require the applicant/person who applies for renewal to verify their entries to the monitor. so dun pumasok pagiging OC ko. i dont want delays nor hassles, so we made sure tama lahat ang entries ng details.

      there’s also an option of courier delivery and just pay P100 or so to avoid the burden of traffic of going to DFA to claim the new passports but i also wanted to claim it personally not because i don’t trust couriers, of course i do (somehow) pero baka kasi mamisplaced, mawala ayun.. paranoid ba? hehe.. 😀

      your green passport is still valid just before its expiry date. i think you may renew it a month before it expires especially when you plan to travel abroad on dates near to its expiry.

      1. kawawa naman yun, hiningan pa ng HS yearbook! eh hindi naman yun kelangan dba? baka nag tri-trip lang yung taga DFA. tsk.

        ah so pwde pa green passport ko yey! 2011 pa naman expiry nito kaya next yr na ko mgpa renew hehe.

        thanks doc! 🙂

  10. hehehe…I like how your son looked when he was young…cute na cute!

    The changes are slow… but if I compare the administration 15 years ago with today…the improvements are big. Still a lot of work ahead…but there is hope ! 🙂

    1. i admire a foreigner/belgian like you sidney, who finds hope for the philippines and has strong belief in this country as a nation despite its constant struggles to better herself from being a third-world country.

      you should be invited to do a talk or symposium in a university or somewhere to inspire pinoys to keep a mind like yours; or are you doing it already? i won’t be surprise. you’ll be an authority on that. 🙂

  11. I still got the green passport that will epxrire this coming 2011. Alam ko pwede mag renew online. Though a bit pricey but okay lang atleast hindi ako absent sa work 🙂

  12. i experienced that too thta’s why i decided to get the e-ticket instead. lesser time lining up but still not so good. im sure they cna make a better system.

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