DFA opens 1st North American ePassport Renewal Center in Los Angeles

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 04 2021 05:12 PM

Brigido J. Dulay, Foreign Affairs undersecretary for civilian security and consular affairs (from left); Foreign Affairs Sec. Teodoro L. Locsin Jr.; Consul-General Edgar B. Badajos; and Sonia Dhayagude, VFS head of operations for the United States during the opening of the Philippine ePassport Renewal Center in Los Angeles. Department of Foreign Affairs
Brigido J. Dulay, Foreign Affairs undersecretary for civilian security and consular affairs (from left); Foreign Affairs Sec. Teodoro L. Locsin Jr.; Consul-General Edgar B. Badajos; and Sonia Dhayagude, VFS head of operations for the United States during the opening of the Philippine ePassport Renewal Center in Los Angeles. Department of Foreign Affairs

MANILA—The Department of Foreign Affairs opened recently a Philippine ePassport Renewal Center in North America aimed at fast-tracking consular services. 

The Los Angeles facility aims to offer convenient consular services to Filipinos in North America, especially in Los Angeles where there are large Filipino communities.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles serves the largest section of overseas Filipinos in the entire region of the Americas and means to increase its capacity to deliver consular services to its clients, especially passport renewal.

“The Philippine ePassport Renewal Center (PaRC) system supplements and strengthens the consular operations of our 94 embassies and consulates around the world. It radically reduces the pressure to get more things done faster and faster until more and more mistakes are made or the public is condemned to slower and slower service”, DFA chief Teodoro Locsin Jr. said at the inauguration of the renewal center. 

Locsin said the facility will open on weekends, adding that this will make processing papers convenient for Filipinos in Los Angeles and surrounding states. 

“The PaRC operates on more days and for longer hours than we ever did. Even on weekends. It is a mean machine with kind results for the public and therefore for DFA workers meeting their needs," Locsin said. 

"Filipinos here in Los Angeles and in the surrounding states need not worry about missing work obligations or other inconveniences caused by an 8-to-5-time window. I know you work so hard to make a life out here, and we will make sure that the PaRC works harder for you to help you achieve that end,” he added. 

Qualified passport renewal applicants for LA PaRC can set an appointment via the VFS Global website prior to coming to the facility. 

VFS Global currently operates ePassport Renewal Centers on behalf of the DFA in various countries and territories. 
 
This is the latest in the efforts of the department to streamline passport renewal processes. 

In September, the DFA launched a special online system for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in its Robinsons Galleria consular office in Ortigas.

From 2019, the DFA began testing new technology to enable Filipinos to renew passport online to reduce lines at consular offices. 

However, long lines at DFA offices persisted, and OFWs complained about renewal difficulties, citing long processing wait times.

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