I waited for almost a month, and this afternoon, my passport got delivered and now I can go to wherever (countries that do not require visas) whenever I wanted. <3
Furthermore, I now have a very official ID. haha! It's terribly difficult when you only have your employment ID in the Philippines. Some establishments do not let you transact with them using it, alone. So now that I have a passport, I could now open accounts without too much pakiusapan. haha!
I think I have to commend the DFA for fast processing. Compared to other governmental institutions *cough*COMELEC*cough*, I think this department is much more efficient. yay!
That is why Filipinos should not be really worried about getting a passport. It's easy and it's fast. Here's a brief guide on the steps (under the cut):
- Apply online. Here's the link to DFA's passport application. It is a must that you get your appointments there first before going to DFA in Parañaque. :) MAKE SURE THAT YOUR ANSWERS ARE TRUTHFUL AND UPDATED AND CORRECT. :) [Now, for those asking: It is better to cancel your appointment officially than just let the day pass. There's a cancel page in the site. And if you're just rescheduling it, you don't have to cancel. You just have to schedule yourself for another date and the previous appointment will be automatically disregarded.]
- As soon as you arrive at the DFA, the guards will check your belongings and your requirements. They will make sure that you are just right for your schedule. If you're a lot earlier, you will be asked to stay at the waiting area until you are allowed to go. If you're late, I don't know what they're going to do. hahaha!
- Present your requirements at the verification table outside the building. After you get through the security, you would instantly notice the long table (with computers) outside the building. Approach them and show your requirements. I call them the verification table because apparently, their role is to check whether you really have an appointment or not. As far as I remember, they will give you a piece of paper (like a number?) and then point you to the main entrance of the building. A little reminder for those minors: Make sure that you are with your parents. Guardians are not permitted, unless they present a signed acknowledgment letter and ID of your mom/dad.
- Fall in line. Okay. So there is nothing to be worried about when you fall in line inside the DFA. Yes, it could be long but it actually moves. Cutting lines won't be possible since guards are always on the look and there are chairs (like in the waiting area of an airport) which serve as dividers.
- At the counter, present all your requirements. This is the most integral part in applying for a passport in the Philippines. Birth certificates should be NSO-certified, and they will get the original so bring it. ID's, though, needed to be photocopied (back&front sides in one paper, please!). In my case, I presented my birth certificate, employment ID, baptismal certificate, and SSS E1 form. The checker only got my birth cert, and looked at my E1 form; and then she asked me for my school ID. Fortunately, I brought it. Whew! I was asked if my passport is regular or rushed; then she gave me a receipt and sent me to the second floor to pay for it.
- Go upstairs. The way to the stairs is adjacent to the counters. Then as you walk up to the second floor, admire the architecture. I tell you, it's beautiful. <3 Then enter the hall at the rightmost part of the floor.
- Pay. There are three our four cashiers so fall in line and pay the corresponding fee. 950php for regular passports, 1200php for rushed. The receipt that will be given to you is important, so keep it.
- Get a number for the picture. Nowadays, DFA does not require us to bring passport photos. They will be taking it themselves. So after paying, go to the table below the huge screen (I can't be sure if it's exactly below the screen, but it's easy to find, anyway!), get a number and wait for your turn. There are a lot of tables so the process is easy. You will know instantly where you're going to because beside your number in the screen is the table number.
- Have your picture taken. You will be asked for some information by the encoder, and then you have to check it carefully. Remember that the information in a passport is vital, and it's a hassle to have it changed when it's too late. After checking, your picture will be taken. EARS OUT. Better if you're on a pony tail, I suppose. Then you'll sign on a tablet, and you're done.
- Pay for the courier service. Now this is optional. If you wish for the passport to be delivered to you, you'll have to pay for addition 100 or 150php. It'll be easy to see where the line is because it's just beside the cashier.
After paying, you're done with the application and you should just have to go wait until it is delivered to you. Easy, right? However, the influx of applicants varies. So I can't be sure that your application will be as easy as mine. Nonetheless, what's one day of getting busy when after that, you could go to wherever you want, right? :)
So good luck with the application!!! <3 Oh, and if you find my instructions helpful, do share! <3