Tuesday, February 18, 2014

DFA's Delayed ePassport

When I first arrived at the NCR East, also known as DFA Megamall, there was this guy talking to a lady at the information desk, asking an advice on what to do with his passport application while obviously trying his best not to be pissed off. I heard him say he paid P1,200 to expedite the process but his passport wasn't ready on the day it was supposed to be released. I felt pity for the guy 'cause he came from the province and was running after his schedule. I thought his case was random and it'll never happen to me. Little did I know that DFA has trouble with passport application and renewal which started last year.

It was January 13, 2014 when I went to DFA Megamall together with my two daughters for our passport application and renewal. I used a family application to ensure that our appointment dates are all the same through DFA's online appointment system at www.passport.com.ph. Hubby and I were planning to Turkey before the winter ends, so I rushed the kids to the DFA and I paid P1,200 for each passport to be processed the quickest possible. I was told that they will be released after 7 working days.

The day of release came, I went to SM Megamall to pick them, but to my surprise, I came home with nothing. No passports were given to me. Instead, they took my contact numbers, saying they're sorry, there was trouble with finger print thingy, whatever. I asked when will I most probably get our passports and they said after another week.

I told them I paid for expressed processing and asked for a refund but sorry that they can't give me back my money. I just learned that this problem started last year. These people at DFA knew that chances of me getting my passport could be late but they still collected the express processing fee. What a shame. I hate this government!

I read this post in one of the windows at DFA's passport releasing area.

Important Reminder 
Power failures, technical breakdowns and natural calamities may delay the release of passports. Applicants are advised to book flights taking into consideration such incidents. NO REFUND of fees shall be made on account of these unforeseen delays. 
The public is advised to secure their passports prior to booking their flights. 
Flight bookings should ONLY be made if passports is still valid for at least six (6) months.

So lame, right? I am guessing DFA until now suffers from either power failure, technical breakdown or natural calamity until now. Duh, just so you have a ready excuse to those who will complain? Shall we count how many applicants pay for express processing each day multiply by P,1200? What is it really? Why can't we entirely improve our service?

My daughters and I can book our flights now using our e-passports. Thank you DFA Megamall for the courtesy lane for women with children, the lines were tolerable, your office has AC and the officers are helpful. Most of all, I love it that your office is conveniently located in a mall that is very near my place. However, I cannot deny the fact that DFA's system still sucks. Please, do not take my payment of P1,200 if you cannot process my passport within 7 working days. You.. corrupt!

PS. A friend's husband has a similar experience at the same DFA branch.

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