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DFA advises regular visits to passport appointment site as it addresses high demand

The Department of Foreign Affairs asked the public to regularly check the passport appointment website following technical issues caused by a high volume of applications. File photo

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs on Sunday advised the public to regularly check its passport appointment website as it addresses a high demand for appointments.

“Appointment slots become or are made available from time to time,” the DFA said in a statement.

“We recommend that you regularly visit our appointment site to check the available time slots,” it added.

The DFA called on passport applicants to bear with them while they address technical issues.

Last Friday, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said the DFA would increase passport application slots after claims surfaced of travel agencies offering slots for a fee despite all slots on the website being filled up.

RELATED: DFA opens more slots for passport application

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Cayetano denied that a syndicate involving some DFA personnel and travel agencies is behind an “extortion” operation, referring to the P5,000 fee allegedly collected from applicants who want to get a passport appointment at an earlier date.

The Foreign Affairs chief said travel agencies have not been allowed to reserve slots since last year.

The DFA however vowed to boost its capacity in the coming months to address the backlog.

Last August, President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law the extension of the Philippine passport validity from five years to 10 years for applicants older than 18.

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