MANILA, Philippines—Prospective overseas Filipino workers are having a hard time getting their passports appointments, a recruitment industry leader said in a news release.
INQUIRER.net tried to get the reaction of consular officials, but they have not responded as of posting time.
Eduardo Mahiya, president of the Federated Association of Manpower Exporters Inc., said the two- to three-month backlog for getting an appointment at the Department of Foreign Affairs passport processing facilities is unacceptable.
He noted that the DFA special lane for OFWs is only reserved for returning OFWs with visas and a Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) contract.
What about the thousands of prospective workers who apply for new job openings that are being marginalized by the long wait for their appointments at the consular office? he asked.
Mahiya said overseas contract workers have to be at their jobsites at a specific time and any delay in their arrivals hurts their chances of going abroad and earning for their families.
And even if the passport applicant is willing to pay the express service of P1,200, the current backlog still results in a long processing time of 15 working days, longer than the 10 days before.
Passport applicants are also frustrated when they return for their release date only to be told to return the following week.
Mahiya also said fixers inside the facility offer to fast-track appointments for P5,000 to P10,000 per applicant.
Tuesday, 14 December 2010