Easy Way To Get Philippine Passport Through DFA Online Passport Application


Philippine Passport
, originally uploaded by ebarrun.

Getting a government document in the Philippines is not an easy thing, I think you know what I mean by this. There are other ways to get a Philippine passport, but this is how I get mine and it’s easy for me; you can share at the comments if you have one. I’m sharing this experience I consider an adventure and a challenge. I’ll try to keep it short as I can, but I think this would be a long post.

Teleserv and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) forged an agreement to give this online service to millions of Filipinos who are dying to leave the country every minute. I like the power of business process outsourcing (BPO) of Teleserv tapped by the government to make a quality service.


Requirements

For a new passport application,the first on the list that I chose to accomplish is the NSO birth certificate since it does not require any valid ID. Make sure all the entries are clear and readable;  mine was in old handwritten format which is not accepted by the DFA. Now what? Go to your local civil registrar and make a request for endorsement letter to the regional NSO. It took me years to have the electronic version of it, I even had a heated argument with the regional NSO staff asking if it’s already endorsed by the local registrar. She told me about the Presidential Decree that no one can view the endorsement which I’m not aware of. My point is, I don’t want to pay again for the handwritten version, just a waste of money. It’s a long story that I have to make another post for that. Try to have the documents listed in the requirements , a bunch of valid ID will get you going: a TIN card from the Bureau of Internal Revenue is the surest valid ID you can have, printed on a cheap paper then laminated and my company ID which is considered valid, too.  This completes all my documentary requirements. Sum it  up, I have 3 documents the NSO birth certificate, TIN card ID, and my company ID.


Set an Appointment

Here is the only online part. Set an appointment to DFA Online Passport Application, and read all the never ending notes there. Fill up all the required entries, avoid or make no errors and make sure it matches with the other documents to save time from going back again to the DFA. Choose your preferred date and time slot, that is, morning or afternoon slot. I would recommend a morning slot; I’ll let you know why on the next step so keep reading. A confirmation email will be sent to you,and be sure to click it within 24 hours. If not, the link will expire and cancel your appointment. You need to have a PDF reader installed in your computer such as Foxit Reader or Adobe Reader to be able to read the electronic forms. The process is automated, so don’t try to fool the system: cancel your appointment if you can’t come on the set date by using the appointment cancellation. This is to avoid problems in the future applications. My personal appearance was set in the DFA Consular Office – Manila at ASEANA Business Park, Bradco Avenue corner Macapagal Boulevard, Paranaque City.


Personal Appearance

Going there by public transport is easy, buses have DFA signs and will drop you next to ASEANA building. If you have your own vehicle, a big parking space is on the next block with security guards.The adventure begins here after a long wait along EDSA for  buses going to the DFA. This time, by the way, I was accompanied by Joel and his brother. When we alighted from  the bus, some people told  us where to set an appointment. To our surprise, we were directed to go the  Shell gas station right across the DFA. Don’t be fooled by this. Fixers are not an option in getting any government documents. Also you won’t be needing any of the ball pen or passport sleeve jackets, sold by peddlers. Aside from selling it forcibly ( yes, forcibly ), the prices are astromonical.

Be there at least 1 hour before your appointment. There’s no need to be there by 1 A:M  just to be the first on queue. The system implemented is  by batch, so you don’t have to worry about that. Hundreds of applicants swarm the building a day that they have 3 holding area. This is why you have to pick the morning schedule; everyone is being held a box like perimeter line outside the building, literally on the streets. A bottled water and something to cover you from the heat of the sun are must-haves. There are no chairs to sit on, and  you can’t even lean on  the wall of the adjacent  S&R shopping center. The guard will surely aim his shotgun at you for doing so. You should have all your printed and photocopied documents with you, incomplete  documents will lead you nowhere but home. The guard will check your schedule in the printed appointment form. Don’t bring anyone who doesn’t have any transaction at the DFA since  that person will not be allowed to enter the gates. My appointment was scheduled at 11 A:M, but we were lining up by 10 A:M. Finish your food and water before entering the gate. No food is allowed inside, or you’ll be asked to leave it at the counter.

I was with  Joell and his brother who is a government employee. Here’s the catch. Government employees have a courtesy lane, so they don’t need to battle the long line. I phoned  the 737-1000 Pilipinas Teleserv customer service if one whose  parents or brother are government employees can use  the courtesy lane. I was told that I  could  only use it  if my  parents are with me and is also applying  for a passport. Also, I should be single if I will use my brother’s privilege, but he must be with me,too!  I can’t use the courtesy lane because all of those government employees in my family are not available. This is a great news for Joell, so along with his brother, they happily entered the building and I waited outside. Here comes the bad news. He was not accepted at the courtesy lane since  the staff told him only the parents and not his brother privilege is being honored. Joell insisted that he had the privilege to use the courtesy lane based on the information given to him by the customer service  about the issue. The staff  handed him a piece of paper saying that only applicants whose parents are present are honored at the courtesy lane. Knowing this, he left his brother  and joined me in the morning heat outside. Though it also happens in other companies, the lesson here is that customer service on the phone and the staff in front of you are  totally in a different world. It only took an hour for Joell’s brother to finish all the entire process.

The next holding area is a big tent inside the DFA compound, with chairs enough to accommodate  the whole batch. Having a seat is such a relief, but one annoying guy playing loud music from his mp3 player added to the noise  from the applicants.We moved like a train going to main building,

Patiently, I waited for the chance to be in the air-conditioned holding area before reaching the teller window where I submitted the requirements. When I was near the window, I overheard the lady  telling the officer  that she already paid for the passport for Php 3000 to  a person who promised her to process her documents the soonest. She was told that it must be a FIXER .This time, we moved at turtle pace though at last I was able to submit the documents; this time I was done in minutes and ready for the next step at the second floor.

I got a transaction number, and this step is the fastest in the whole process. At the second floor, a decent number of cubicles that can accommodate  a large volume of applicants can be found. Each cubicle has its own digital camera, fingerprint scanner, and digital pen for signature. The E-passport saves time in terms of processing and offers a lot of security. It took 5 hours just to get a new  passport, a big “time-waster” is the long line of applicants.


Fees

You don’t have to pay for or spend on anything than the passport itself, depending on the processing days. If you want to save some cash go for the regular processing at Php 950.00 for 20 working days. When the need arises and circumstances require you to have a passport immediately then go for the rush processing at Php 1,200.00 and have it after 10 working days. Now, fees are rather cheaper that it used to be years ago.


Delivery

I don’t want to go back to the DFA and to undergo the same  process of standing on a long line  just to get the passport. So, I wanted it to be delivered, but an additional Php 200 for the delivery of the courier company of your choice like 2Go and LBC was an extra. I was  expecting the delivery of the passport by October 17 through 2Go; I’ve  waited till noon but no luck. With the Air Waybill (AWB) and Consignment Note (CN) numbers in hand, I tried tracking it using my mobile phone, but I got no confirmation or response. The online tracking feature on their website is not really tracking, it’s just a detail of the package, I’m expecting something like this. I contacted the branches of 2Go Laguna hub for a follow up in San Pedro ,but they redirected me to Sta. Rosa where the phone was  not even ringing.I rang the customer service in Manila (+632) 5287-136 that gave  me a repetitive message ” your call is important to us” for 6 minutes and it’s not a toll free number! The last resort I did was to email the Laguna hub guys. The next morning I received  a reply saying they got the passport at DFA on October 17 in the evening. I think I will blame the DFA for the delays not 2Go. With all the labors I undertook and hassles I underwent, I was ecstatic to finally receive my passport on the 18th of October. Such a labor. Below is the preview of the inside pages of the new electronic passport.

Philippine Passport

WORDS OF CAUTION : The passport contains sensitive electronics. Do not bend, perforate, or expose this to extreme temperature or excess moisture.

Here are some tips to enjoy your adventure in  Getting Philippine Passport Through DFA Online Passport Application.

  • Don’t deal with fixers.
  • Don’t buy anything from the peddlers.
  • Bring anything that will shield you form the heat of the sun.
  • A bottled water.
  • Remember the old adage: Patience is a virtue. Have lots of them with you.

 

I Was Informed That Christopher Lao Was Not Informed, Again?

Do you remember his name? I bet you do, he is Christopher Lao a UP Diliman student who ditched his car in the middle of a flood. That according to him he was not informed by the traffic enforcers, MMDA and even the GMA news team that the level of the flood  would sink his car . Here’s some of his popular lines, that hit the social media.

[quote]Why me? nobody informed, I should have been informed, dapat iinformed[/quote]

But I was informed that Christopher Lao was not informed, again?  that  there would be a flood in his area where his car is parked outside of his house. The central Luzon have been hit by different typhoons so flooding is expected especially in Metro Manila. Christopher Lao did not learn any lesson from his past but now he got something new for us,  this new video.

Nature doesn’t inform you but BPI Family Auto Loan is informing you that this is an advertisement for their car insurance policy, FREE insurance with acts of nature coverage. They are making a viral video on YouTube to promote the insurance product. So being stupid nowadays can be rewarding in the end?.  Christopher Lao was able to pay for his daughter’s tuition fee. He found a new career I guess, more of this story at GMA News online

Globe Telecom Mourns Loss of Apple Steve Jobs

Globe Telecom

The world mourns the death of the Apple founder Steve Jobs, the apple website till this time is mourning for his loss. Most Apple fans used the social media to express their voices. While some visited physical Apple stores to offer flowers and candles. I saw in the news on TV the candle app in iPhone and Steve Jobs photo in the Ipad, the geek way I can say of mourning.

When I visited the Globe Telecom Inc. website I was greeted with this pop up image, a message from the president and CEO Ernest L. Cu in Apple style of simplicity and elegance.

[quote]For leading a new business revolution. For changing the way we look at technology. For being an inspiration to many. Thank you, Steve.[/quote]

Globe Telecom is the only carrier offering Apple products in the Philippines like the Iphone 3G. I’m expecting them to have this mourning with their business relationship with Apple. Hope they make a tribute for him or an event.

 

Bluehost Corrected a Security Risk On My WordPress Account

This blog and two more other was infected by a malware last month where I did some major house cleaning to my Bluehost account. A pain for all self-hosted WordPress users for the vulnerability in the TimThumb {thumb.php}, I contacted support but it was not resolved, I have to do it manually by myself.  Then I received an email from them last 4 days ago that they have corrected a security risk on my account. It’s a big relief for me and felt secure to all my WordPress accounts, all {thumb.php} is updated to the latest version. Here’s the email I got.

 

Dear customer,

This is a courtesy notice that we have found and corrected exploitable timthumb.php file(s) on your ebarrun.com account, which are listed below.  While we have corrected these files, we do recommend you ensure all potential exploits are corrected on your account.  This is best done by updating all scripts, plugins, modules and themes on your account to the latest version.

As the owner of the account, you are responsible for keeping your hosted content free of malicious software.  For technical assistance, you can also reach our chat team from Bluehost.com or by going directly to:

http://www.bluehost.com/chat

The timthumb.php file is a script commonly used in WordPress’s (and other software’s) themes and plugins to resize images. The exploit allows an attacker to arbitrarily upload and create files and/or folders on your account, which can then be used for a number of malicious tasks, including but not limited to defacement, browser high-jacking and infection, data harvesting and more.  After a site has been exploited, it may lead to becoming labeled a “Malicious Website” by Google or other security authorities.

Any timthumb.php file below version 1.35, but above version 1.09 is considered vulnerable, unless patched. To prevent being compromised, we advise you update all instances of timthumb.php to version 2.0, or patch the existing vulnerable files.  Note that patching the files requires more in-depth knowledge of the PHP scripting language.

The updated version of timthumb.php can be found here:

http://timthumb.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/timthumb.php

Additional information regarding the compromise can be found at the following two websites, as well as others; note that all external websites in this email are not affiliated with Bluehost.com in any capacity, and are for your reference only.

http://markmaunder.com/2011/08/01/zero-day-vulnerability-in-many-wordpress-themes/
http://redleg-redleg.blogspot.com/2011/08/malware-hosted-newportalsecom.html

Note: some information has been deleted for privacy reasons.

 

Though it’s my responsibility to update everything to the latest versions, I’m so delighted for a nice customer service by Bluehost, I now feel more secure than ever.

FrancisM Clothing Co: New Website + Special Giveaway

FrancisM Clothing Co

If you love your country and you like Francis Magalona, here’s an easy way to help. They are now shipping worldwide and need you to spread it out, all you need is a twitter or tumblr account for a chance to win this shirt. Make that tweet or repost the entry from his daughter’s blog.

Here’s your chance to help us spread the word and win a signed T-shirt (men’s small) from FMCC!

FrancisM Clothing Co

To join:

You must have either a Twitter/Tumblr account.
Winner may be from here or from a different country.
One tweet and one reblog on Tumblr will give you twice the chance to win.
Only one e-mail per person. Double check before you send. NO FLOODING MY E-MAIL.

Mechanics:

Tweet this: “#MgaKababayan! FrancisM Clothing Co. will be shipping worldwide through their new online store! Sept 17 2011. http://francismclothing.com“
(Optional) If you have Tumblr, REBLOG this post.
Once you’ve done both, e-mail links of both your tweet and your reblog to contests@isabellamagalona.com with the subject FMCC ONLINE
Include your full name, mailing address, contact number.
Contest ends 11:59PM of Friday, September 16 2011.