CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — Citing the geographical accessibility of this city, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Regional Consular Office formally opened its new office at the City Transport Terminal here in a bid to serve more passport applicants in all provinces of Central Luzon.
DFA Regional Director Asuncion Florentin said on Monday the move was the answer to clamor of relocating the DFA service office in this city. Florentin said that San Fernando is more accessible to major transport systems in the province compared to its former location inside Clark Freeport.
“Our two-storey building here is our own. We are now in full operation and ready to accommodate our usual applicants,” Florentin said, saying that most applicants here are glad that the DFA has moved to this city.
The DFA Regional Consular Office was housed at the Paskuhan Village, now renamed Hilaga in Barangay San Jose here before it was moved inside Clark Freeport. Florentin said the plan to relocate was “two years in the making” and was personally approved by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The DFA Regional Consular Office usually facilitates 1,000 passport applicants each day, while around 20,000 applicants are processed each month. But Florentin said that they expect a rise in the number of applicants these coming months due to the accessibility of their new location. She said that they would be hiring additional staff to accommodate the possible increase of applicants.
Florentin said they are proposing to retain the Clark office and convert it into a satellite office that would offer the same services of the mother regional office here.
“We want to retain the facility but in a smaller scale. As for related agencies like the National Bureau of Investigation, I think that there are moves to relocate here in the City of San Fernando,” Florentin said.
Florentin is urging passport applicants to visit their new office in this city. (Ian Ocampo Flora )