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DFA opens passport renewal center in LA

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star
DFA opens passport renewal center in LA
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. led the inauguration of the center in Los Angeles, which will serve one of the largest overseas Filipino communities in the world.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), through the Philippine consulate general in Los Angeles, opened on Friday the first passport renewal center in North America as part of efforts to make consular services more accessible to overseas Filipinos.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. led the inauguration of the center in Los Angeles, which will serve one of the largest overseas Filipino communities in the world.

“The Philippine ePassport Renewal Center (PaRC) system supplements and strengthens the consular operations of our 94 embassies and consulates around the world,” said Locsin.

“It radically reduces the pressure to get more things done faster and faster until more and more mistakes are made or the public is condemned to slower and slower service,” he added.

The inauguration was also attended by Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Civilian Security and Consular Affairs Brigido Dulay and Consul General Edgar Badajos.

The new passport renewal center in Los Angeles will be operated by VFS Global, the largest outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions worldwide.

It also operates Philippine PaRCs in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates; Jeddah and Al Khobar in Saudi Arabia; Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast in the United Kingdom; Dublin in Ireland; Marseilles in France; Singapore and Kuwait.

“The PaRC operates on more days and for longer hours than we ever did. Even on weekends. It is a mean machine with kind results for the public and therefore for DFA workers meeting their needs,” said Locsin.

“Filipinos here in Los Angeles and in the surrounding states need not worry about missing work obligations or other inconveniences caused by an 8-to-5 time window. I know you work so hard to make a life out here, and we will make sure that the PaRC works harder for you to help you achieve that end,” he added.

The Philippine consulate in Los Angeles serves an estimated 1.3 million overseas Filipinos based in Southern California, Southern Nevada and the State of Arizona.

The DFA earlier said that opening of the off-site renewal center aims to address the high demand for passport renewal services in the consulate, which has been processing the maximum number of allowed applications daily since May.

DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS PASSPORT
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