Tuesday, April 7, 2009

My experience at DFA


Last April 3, 2009, we went to Manila to get a passport. But before that, I have read some experiences of other Filipino people in the internet. I was googling til I've found some forums regarding the experiences of some Filipinos in getting their passport in DFA.

I've read some revealed topics about how difficult it was to get a passport there because they have problems regarding their picture, some people there were insisting them to correct their photo and making them believe that they doesn't meet the standard photo requirement. I don't know who were those people they were referring. They have the same complaints about the people there, many says that their I.D. photo should be like this or like that! And it costs P150.00 when you get another. Some readers felt doubtful because they might experience what the other Filipino people have experienced.

When I went there, I am with my mother and my brother. We were at the back of DFA, there are so many people there. While passing through, someone asked us if we are going to get a passport, if we are newbie, or are we going to renew our passport? Its like he was interviewing us. He said that it was difficult to get a passport there, especially when the picture is not right. He also bragged that he will get a passport too and we have to go first in any of the stalls located at the side of the street "for the checking of the documents, filling-up of forms, thumbmark and I.D. picture".

So, when we arrived in the first stall/booth, the guy said, "sige bigyan nyo ng 3 forms yan!" Our guess was correct! Its just his style of luring other people especially newbie or innocent people who has no idea what may happen, particularly the other people who can be easily fooled. There were also 2 man standing outside, wearing a barong and black pants, pretending to be an employee of DFA. They also got a walkie talkie in their hand. Their role is to blocked people who will go inside of the DFA office then will refer to dropped by in any stalls there whose business is for taking ID picture.

I've noticed that all the stalls located at the right side and its workers has one aim and same lines to attract newbies. Their aim is to make profit through taking photo i.d. even if the prepared photo was correct they will still make you convince that it was not right and you have to get another photo i.d. The usual lines they always said: You have to fill-up your forms first, put thumbmark and attach your I.d. photo and the supporting documents such as birth certificate from NSO or local cert. with CTC, 2 xerox I.D. like SSS id, voter's id, etc. before you can proceed inside of the DFA's office. You can't go inside when your form has incomplete data, no thumbmark and no attach photo or else you will only be taken outside of the DFA's office.

My mother is very sensitive when it comes in that situation. She's very bold and direct. She wants to guarantee if the transaction is legal before making a move. She doesn't want to be victimized by it. So, she asked them if they were a part of DFA, and if they were an official employee. They told us that the stalls are the extension of DFA and they were an employee. They have shown us their huge size I.Ds.

The woman there insisted us to show our photo i.d. to her. She said, she have to check it if it is correct and have meet the standard requirement. When she saw mine, she immediately bragged that my background color is wrong. Its very irritating, especially when you have an idea that they just want to get money from you so, I told her that it is right because it is royal blue like the other picture displayed to her desk. Then she again insisted that it was not because of my hair, covering my right eyebrow. My forehead should be visible. However, whatever she says, we don't want to approved it. Because we're sure that its correct.

Inside the DFA compound, we saw the long lines at gate 2. We asked the security guard, the route for the government employees. She direct us to proceed at the 2nd floor.

The line for the government employees is different from those people who are working in private companies/organizations. The government employees have the great opportunity to be assess immediately.

Arriving at the second floor, we filled-up our forms at the canteen then attached the supporting documents. After that, we proceeded at window one. We gave our forms to the lady wearing an eye glass, she checked it one by one. She said that we have to make one photocopy of our form (just the front). So, we go downstairs to photocopy it. Then, when we return back at window one, the lady gave us an appointment. A schedule for the processing of our documents. my brother informed her that we came from Oriental Mindoro and we'll go home the same day. So she referred us to the director - Mr. Gaspar, she instructed us to make a request to him. Then, we followed what she have told us. The director seems kind and understanding. He approved and let us not to be scheduled on Tuesday. Our documents will be processed right away.

Then, we moved on at window 2, the lady gave us the receipt with the amount to be paid for the passport. She put P750.00 in the receipt yet, we asked her why did she already put the amount without asking us if we like to pay P500.00 or P750.00 Because we know that if we pay P500.00 the processing will take 14 days while the other one will only take one week. She impolitely explained that the amount to be paid is automatic P750.00 due to holy week and they'll have an overtime. We have no choice but to paid it. So, we waited there for about 15 minutes, then our names were called by her, we checked our names, address, place of birth and date of birth if correct to avoid double pay. It was the last step, we signed it and put our thumb mark. Then its done. She gave us a schedule on when will our passport be release. We can pay the LBC for the delivery of our passport, its worth P100.00 so we're not bothered in going back there.

That's so easy! I suggest, if you are planning to get a passport, don't be seduce by the people outside the DFA building. Whatever they say, just ignore them! Or just tell them that you have already an appointment. I'm sure they will stopped. One more thing, the security guard inside the DFA office told us that all DFA employees have an ID unlike the fixers outside, they have none.

So be careful! Don't be victimized!


belleph said...

Hi rob, thanks for the info. This would be very useful. My sister is palnningto get one. She's just in Makati but I think she doesn't have an idea about the correct procedure.

rObrak said...

well that's my purpose why I posted and shared my experience. Your sister could get an appointment through online. They have an online system, You can search it in google. Or I will add it up so that you can check its link.


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