DFA to open soon in Mandaue’s Pacific Mall-A A +A
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
PASSPORT applicants in Central Visayas can look forward to improved services in a more convenient setting when the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) opens its new Regional Consular Office at the Pacific Mall-Super Metro in Mandaue City next month.
This was disclosed by Dr. Edward Gaisano, president of Pacific Mall Corp., which persuaded the DFA to transfer its regional office in Cebu to its new four-level shopping mall along United Nations Ave., Estancia, Ibabao in Mandaue City.
In a press statement, Gaisano said the P13.5-million passport processing facility, located on the top level of Pacific Mall, will be turned over to the DFA as scheduled tomorrow, Dec. 1, and is expected to serve the public by Dec. 12.
Gaisano said the facility is covered under Private-Public Partnership arrangements and will allow the DFA to save as much as P40 million in operating costs over 10 years.
Gaisano signed the memorandum of agreement in Manila with Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. Del Rosario on Oct. 27.
“Those who have seen the existing DFA passport office in Cebu will be in for a big surprise when they see the new consular office in Mandaue City,” Gaisano said. “What we will have in Pacific Mall is a modern facility that will serve as the flagship of all DFA offices in the Visayas.”
In addition to the improved setting, Gaisano said the public will find it more convenient to apply for their passports at Pacific Mall because of the various amenities it offers that include parking, clean restrooms, food outlets, a supermarket and various stores.
Gaisano said the Cebu project intended to replicate the experience of Pacific Mall Lucena, which hosts the Regional Consular Office for Southern Tagalog. He said Pacific Mall has also made offers to the DFA to host the Regional Consular Office in Legazpi City and another in Alabang.
During the signing ceremonies in Manila, Secretary Del Rosario said the DFA’s partnership with Pacific Mall Corp. is intended to bring the department closer to the people by providing them with passport and other consular services in a world-class setting.
“The new Regional Consular Office is going to be a far cry from our existing passport facility in Cebu City and is guaranteed to be something that Cebuanos will be proud of. When it opens its doors, the applying public can look forward not only to a world-class facility but also to a world-class service that we in the DFA constantly strive to deliver,” the secretary said.
“We hope to conclude similar agreements in the coming weeks and months for the transfer of our consular offices to major shopping centers nationwide,” he said. (PR)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 30, 2011.