MANILA - Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. has ordered to stop allocating passport appointment slots to recruiters.
This, as the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) office in ASEANA will again allow walk-in passport applications for overseas Filipino workers beginning March 14 as long as they bring supporting documents.
“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 w(ith) supporting docs. This should make passport appointments easier and as it should be, ABSOLUTELY FREE for ALL,” Locsin said in a tweet.
Locsin said the passport courtesy lane for OFWs will initially reopen in the afternoons beginning March 14, saying “it will be whole day and whole country soon.”
DFA Undersecretary for Civilian Security and Consular Concerns Brigido Dulay confirmed Locsin’s order.
“SFA @teddyboylocsin just gave orders to stop allocating passport appointment slots to recruiters; some can’t handle the temptation. Starting March 14th, DFA Aseana will allow OFWs as walk-in if they have supporting documents. @dfaoca @DFAPHL,” Dulay said.
Dulay said the DFA has asked Facebook to take down pages selling appointment slots online and has asked the PNP and NBI cybercrime units to investigate and apprehend the perpetrators.