Land-based manpower exporters appeal to DFA to fast-track passport processing
MANILA, Oct. 3 (PNA) – The association of land-based manpower exporters appealed on Monday to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to fast-track the release of passports, especially to aspiring Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).
The Federation of Manpower Exporters (FEDAMANEX), an umbrella organization of recruiters deploying manpower mostly to the Middle East, said passport delays continue to hamper job opportunities for aspiring OFWs to secure jobs abroad
Despite the marching orders of President Rodrigo R. Duterte to DFA Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. to eliminate the long queues at the passport offices of the DFA, aspiring OFWs are still being hampered by numerous delays at the Consular Offices of the DFA both in Manila and in many regional offices.
“The two-month processing time in acquiring a new passport for OFWs continues to persist at the Aseana main passport office and other regional offices of the DFA,” Manny Geslani, spokesman of FEDAMANEX, said.
He cited delays in the processing of passports for aspiring OFWs occurred in some regional offices operated by the DFA Consular Offices and the online system has a one month backlog for the appointment system while the unreasonable requirements by some regional offices for additional identification cards have frustrated Filipinos who want to go abroad and seek jobs for their families.
Reports reaching FEDAMANEX said many of their prospective applicants seeking work abroad have encountered some unreasonable demands from DFA Regional Offices in Davao, Zamboanga and Legazpi City.
The processors from those DFA offices demanded additional IDs like driver’s licenses, SSS and voter’s ID despite the applicants submission of authenticated NSO birth or marriage certificates, PhillHealth ID, NBI or police clearance, digitized postal ID which are the minimum requirements to be submitted by the passport applicant.
“Those requirements like driver’s license, SSS ID or voter’s ID are over and above the minimum requirements needed by an ordinary applicant since most of the applicants are young women from Mindanao who are not expected to drive and most of them do not possess SSS ID since it is the first time to apply for an overseas job,” Geslani pointed out.
He stressed that the continuous delay in the compliance of unnecessary requirements by some unreasonable personnel from the DFA Consular Office are preventing these workers from being gainfully abroad in places like Hong Kong, Singapore and the Middle East.
It can be recalled that President Duterte ordered the DFA to eliminate the long queues in passport offices.
Recruitment officials have repeatedly requested the DFA to prioritize passport processing for OFWs as this is the sector that continues to support the national economy.