Walk-ins for OFWs, courtesy lane to start on March 14: DFA

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

March 9, 2022, 8:43 pm

MANILA – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) will allow walk-ins for overseas Filipino workers and individuals eligible for its passport courtesy lane starting March 14.

The agency on Wednesday said OFWs availing their walk-in consular services must be active OFWs or can present a current and valid employment contract.

The policy came following reports that some individuals have been selling passport appointment slots on social media, which is supposed to be free of charge.

DFA Undersecretary Brigido Dulay said the agency is looking into this matter and has asked Facebook to take down concerned pages.

He said the agency has also tapped the Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation to probe and apprehend the slot sellers.

On Tuesday, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. also gave orders to stop allocating passport appointment slots to recruiters.

"Recruiters will no longer be given passport slots. They will have to go online like everyone else. This won’t affect OFWs. From March 14, OFWs will be able to walk in with supporting docs," he said.

"This should make passport appointments easier and as it should be, absolutely free for all," he added.

Last January 2022, the DFA reported that it reserved at least 13,650 passport appointment slots for land-based and sea-based OFWs following the "clamor of licensed recruitment and manning agencies". Dulay that month said only 4.5 percent or 614 of the allotted slots were used. (PNA)