The Department of Foreign Affairs is taking a big leap with a new technology that will allow Filipinos to renew their passports via the internet. The online renewal had been considered after many Filipinos complained about full online appointments since slots are only limited per day.
According to Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, the system will enable applicants to renew their passports at the comfort of their homes or offices. This will also lessen the appointments and lines in their consular offices.
“One of these technologies shown to me, ‘yung cellphone kukuhanan lang ng picture ‘yung passport, and then magse-selfie ka. ‘Yung face mo ico-compare sa passport. Then we can mail you the (renewed) passport already.”
The possibilities are still being studied thoroughly by the DFA as they iron out the details of the new scheme. They are eyeing to launch the online renewal system by the year 2019. However, it will only be applicable for passports issued from August 2016 onwards.
“Nung tinurn over sa amin ‘yung data noong 2014, aside from obsolete, corrupted na yung ibang data. (But) Once we have the biometrics, puwede nang hindi na magpakita sa offices and we can do the renewals online.”
With its objective of coming up with new measures to facilitate easy processing of passports. DFA had launched a mobile passport processing center called “Passport on Wheels” and an online portal for passport concerns of new overseas Filipino workers in January of this year.
Cayetano claimed that his Department is considering to open 8 new consular offices nationwide to cater to an additional of 17,000 daily passports appointments.