MANILA - The Department of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday warned the public against seeking assistance on setting up passport appointments on social media.
The DFA Consular Affairs Office said in a statement they received reports of Filipinos asking for help in Facebook groups and chat groups, and even from strangers offering passport appointments services online.
"The Department received reports today from passport applicants who booked their passport appointment with assistance from unknown individuals online and ended up paying more than what the DFA collects for passport issuance, and receiving tampered application forms and/or incorrect instructions, such as advice to pursue their appointment at a schedule or Consular Office different from the actual appointment schedule and site," the consular affairs office said.
The DFA urged applicants who made doubtful appointments with a third party to call its appointment hotline at 8234 – 3488 for verification.
"Applications that were made through a third party will be accepted for processing only after the appointment and the identity of the applicant has been verified, and processing will only be done at the Consular Office where the appointment was made," it said.
The DFA reminded the public such appointments can be booked by themselves through https://passport.gov.ph. Applicants were advised to use their own email address and mobile number to receive the right details of their appointment and the correct packet they need to bring for their application.
Due to limited passport appointment slots following COVID-19 protocols, applicants with urgent travel requirements, such as OFWs, can contact the foreign office through firstname.lastname@example.org for accommodation in DFA Aseana, or at the nearest consular office by sending an appointment request by email to the concerned office directly.
The full list of consular offices and their contact details can be found at https://consular.dfa.gov.ph/directory#COS.