Angelo and I went to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Consular Office in Pasay City this morning, for his e-passport application. I decided not to avail of the travel agency services anymore and just try to do it ourselves since I thought they were able to organize the procedures already, hence it will be easier. While the whole process is still unorganized, the current system is much better than the old passport application process, I must say. We were able to complete all the steps in two-and-a-half hours.

I have summarized our experience for those parents who, like me, want to get passports for their kids.

STEP # 1: Get an appointment. They don’t allow walk-in applicants anymore so this is very important. There are two (2) ways to do this: first is by calling the DFA Passport Appointment System Hotline (02-737-1000), or go to their website at http://www.passport.com.ph/ and register online. I did the second option and I highly recommend it because it’s easy and more reliable.

Note: If you are running after a booked flight, better get a appointment as soon as possible. Slots are limited, and as early as mid-March, all slots until third week of April are full! Some slots do open though, so if you want an earlier schedule, you have to be very patient in checking from time to time the website or the hotline to check if slots are already available. (We were lucky we were able to get a slot today or else, we won’t be able to push thru with our Singapore trip on the 24th. :-S)

Before you will be given the chance to choose a slot, you will be asked first to fill up online your basic information, so better be ready. Then you will be given a form in PDF format with the information that you provided and the reference number. Be sure to save and print this document. It will be your only proof that you are scheduled on that day. You don’t need to wait for an acknowledgment email anymore.

STEP # 2: Prepare all the necessary documents. You will find the complete list here. In Angelo’s case, being a minor, here are the documents that I prepared, just to be sure that there won’t be any problems:

  • Birth Certificate in NSO paper
  • My passport and photocopy of front, pages 2&3, page with the last immigration stamp, and back page. For minors who won’t be travelling with their moms, they will have to submit additional requirements including a DSWD clearance
  • Angelo’s school Identification card
  • As supporting documents, I prepared his baptismal certificate and school records as well 

STEP # 3: On your appointment date, proceed to the DFA Consular Office located at ASEANA Business Park, Bradco Avenue corner Macapagal Boulevard, Paranaque City. You must be at the DFA Consular Office 30 minutes before your scheduled time.

  • Entrance for new applicants is on Gate 2. From there, proceed to the Appointment System Counter (outside the main building, to your left upon entering the main gate) to retrieve your printed application form. This is similar to the form that was given to you during the online registration, it’s just that this was printed in long bond paper. You will have to fill it up and submit to the DFA officer inside the building.
  • After getting the form, you will line up again at the building’s main door. upon entering, you will be led to the counter that gives out queue numbers. You will be asked to sit while waiting for your numbes to be called (when we arrived, they were serving customer # 1534. Our number? 1850. yikes!). At the counter, I just gave the officer the documents but she just took Angelo’s original birth certificate  and photocopy of my passport. She also issued us a receipt.
  • After processing, you will proceed to the Passport Enrollment Section located at the 2nd Floor. Pay the applicable passport processing fees (Php 950 – regular processing for 20 working days and Php 1,200 – rush processing for 10 working days).
  • After payment, you will be given another queue number at the Encoding Section for data capturing. You will then have the option to claim the passport yourself or have the accredited couriers deliver your passport at your doorstep.

Notes:

  • To avoid the crowd, get the earliest possible schedule. I believe they open as early as 7:30am. The appointment system is like batch scheduling with an X number of people scheduled every 30 minutes or so. We were there 30 minutes before our 10am slot, but the place was still jampacked of people from earlier slots!
  • Make sure to photocopy all your documents before going there. There’s a photocopying center inside, and it costs Php 3 per page!
  • There’s no dress code but better to be in a decent attire especially that they will be taking a photo of you inside.

How to go there: In our case, we took the faster MRT. Got off Taft Avenue Station, rode a jeep with DFA signboard. We were dropped off somewhere (the landmark I remember was a gasoline station and NSO). From there, there are mini-jeepneys that will take you directly in front of the new DFA building.