DFA allots 1K passport application slots for new OFWs

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced the availability of 1,000 passport application slots to first-time overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

These could be availed through the DFA’s online application portal accessed by at least 170 Licensed Recruitment Agencies (LRAs) accredited by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and those registered with the DFA, Foreign Affairs Secretary Allan Peter Cayetano said on January 19.

“For the past several years, ‘di pinapayagan ang first-time (OFWs) na mag-courtesy lane,” Cayetano said, noting that only existing OFWs were allowed.

The agency believes this could deliver faster and easier passport applications for first-time overseas workers.

The 170 LRA can give a maximum of six slots per day, except for DFA Aseana branch as it is projected to process 200 applicants per day.

Securing a slot is free, Cayetano stressed, while regular fees for passport still apply.

He said the portals can be accessed any day and that the agency is now studying if it was feasible to implement longer hours for the said service.

“We hope for eight, 12 or 16 hours with two shifts,” Cayetano said.