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Locsin in HK to launch first overseas portal for online application for PH passports

16 July 2019

By The SUN

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A panormamic shot of the crowd at the online passport application system led by Secretary Teodoro Locsin (in middle)

The Consulate in Hong Kong has become the first Philippine post overseas to have a passport online booking system for Filipinos.

Foreign Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin Jr., leading a team of officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs, presided over the launch of the service at a meeting attended by about  200 Filipino community leaders and Consulate staff on Sunday, Jul 14.

“This system will slash the long passport queues by providing an easy-to-navigate, faster and more convenient way of booking passport appointments,” said Locsin, who added that this will help OFWs save precious time on their only free day in a week.
 “It only takes a few minutes on your mobile phone browser or computer to complete the process. No more queuing for an appointment,” Locsin said, adding half-jokingly that “if something goes wrong, just go on twitter because I am always there.”

To make the online appointment booking, an applicant must go to and sign in with either an email address or through google. If using email, you will get a confirmation message with a link which you must click within 24 hours or you will have to redo the process.

Once you get to the appointment page, you will see a list of available dates and time. Click your preferred schedule, then fill out the attached application form. Print both documents and go to the Consulate on your chosen date and time to complete the process.
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PCG's diagram shows '4 easy steps' to apply for passport  online

The online application system took effect on Jul 14, and was first tested for two OFW applicants, including Global Alliance chairman Leo Selomenio, who said she had a problem using her iPhone to log in, but managed to do so with an android phone.

Vice Consul Fatima Quintin, who heads the passport office, said the appointment system for all passport applicants will be enforced starting Aug 1 this year.
While online appointments are preferred, she said applicants can still book appointments in-person at the Consulate, though this could take time, especially when done on Sundays, when most overseas Filipino workers are off.

A cursory check of the online application site showed many available slots from today until October. However, the default month is October, so one has to use the back arrow to get an earlier date.

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Secretary Locsin says Filipinos abroad are his priority
Previously, booking appointments for passport application, especially for Sundays, was done either by phone, email, or in person. On weekdays, anybody could just walk in and fill in the application form, then have their photos taken on the same day.

Locsin said that since assuming his post as secretary earlier this year, he had made it a priority to get rid of “unnecessarily burdensome requirements” in the DFA’s consular and assistance to nationals services.

This included getting rid of requiring birth certificates for passport renewal, fully utilizing the assistance to nationals fund for Filipinos overseas, and affixing “apostille” instead of the costly authentication for official documents issued abroad.

“In everything we do, we put the Filipinos abroad first. Why? Because you matter. The hard work you put in, day in, day out, for your families, and therefore, for our country, will not come to nothing,” he said.

The foreign secretary said the online appointment system had been “so efficient and so convenient” in the Philippines that the passport demand last year had overshot the DFA’s estimate of the number of passport applicants by more than 700,000.

Locsin said the OFWs’ only day off in the week is precious, so they should spend shorter time transacting with the Consulate for services.

“It is clear to me that after six days of hard work, your one day of free time is a right but also a precious gift spent resting and reconnecting with families and loved ones back home. So when I took over, I knew I had to protect that one single day,” Locsin said.

Thinking that, he said he spent months meeting with Undersecretary Brigido Dulay, the Office of Consular Affairs, as well as Consul General Antonio Morales and his team, so they could launch the first OAS in Hong Kong.

In introducing Locsin, ConGen Morales lauded him for being the principal author of the Overseas Absentee Voting bill passed in 2003, when he was still a member of the House of Representatives.

That bill paved the way for Hong Kong to consistently emerge as the Philippines’ foreign service post with the highest voter turnout in every election anywhere in the world.

Losin was also cited as one of the authors of the Dual Citizenship law, which allowed Filipinos to hold a second passport, apart from the one issued by the Philippine government.

With the launch of the online appointment system, Morales said Hong Kong has again beaten other posts for the honor of being the first to provide the service.

“Once again, nauna na naman po ang Hong Kong, at nagpapasalamat tayo sa ating kalihim.”

Aside from Dulay, other DFA officials accompanying Locsin at the launch were Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs Neil Frank R. Ferrer and Office of Consular Affairs executive director Maria Theresa S.M. Lazaro.

Locsin said the DFA hopes to expand the online appointment system to other countries in Asia and in other regions such as the Middle East, Europe and the Americas to make passport renewal more convenient for Filipinos overseas.
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