BACOLOD City Administrator John Orola said he will bring up before Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano the complaints about passport appointments with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
He said that if complaints about the difficulties of getting a passport is true, then it could be alarming.
Complainants said they have been trying to book appointments online, but all three months from January to March have been booked and blocked already in all locations and satellite offices.
A complainant said she checked with travel agencies offering passport assistance and found out there seems to be a lot with available appointments on hand.
Travel agencies are allegedly are being “assisted” by some DFA employees to block the schedules and in turn, they pay them.
Most reportedly charge P4,500 to P5,000 for the supposedly free appointment schedule. Of the said amount, half of it reportedly goes to the DFA employee while the rest goes to the travel agency.
A passport applicant also claimed that when she went to the DFA office in Bacolod, the security guard said they no longer accommodate walk-in passport applicants and only caters to online applications and passport renewals.
Published in the SunStar Bacolod newspaper on January 11, 2018.
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