Starting June 1, passport applicants who will not show up on their appointment date will be barred from re-applying for 30 days.
Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Jose Rene Almendras said he hopes this ban will encourage applicants to take their reservations seriously.
He said that no-shows of passport applicants on their appointments have resulted in a two-month waiting period for hundreds of applicants. DFA data also showed that 47% of applicants do not show up in their appointed date and time.
Almendras observed that many Filipinos take their slots for granted because there is no fee for the reservation, and they can always apply for a new one.
The DFA receives at least 15,000 passport applications daily.
Almendras recognized that DFA is struggling to cut down the processing time, which takes two and a half hours to complete, in general. They are currently transitioning to a new system to accommodate the huge volume of passport applications. Furthermore, applicants have to go through a strict security check due to thousands of identity fraud cases.
Almendras promised to reduce the processing time for application despite the concerns.