07 March 2011


(Documentation of my personal experience in Passport Application)

4th of March. First destination, Department of Foreign Affairs. For those who didn’t know, the new office of Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is now located at Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard corner Bradco Street, Pasay City. And before going for the interview, make sure you have with you your complete set of requirements, and of course, you must have already set an appointment earlier. You haven’t yet? Here are the steps:

Preliminaries: Setting an Appointment

You have two options in setting up an appointment: (a) Via online application. Visit the DFA Passport Appointment System and follow instructions indicated; or (b) call (02) 737-1000, and a friendly service agent will gladly assist you. Be sure to set your appointment as soon as you can, even if you still lack the requirements, as the next open schedule might not be in the next one to two months.

On the day of the interview, make sure to be there 30 minutes earlier, and bring EVERYTHING. If you don't know how to get there, just go to Pasay Rotonda, take a bus heading to MIA-611, and get off right in front of DFA.

As for the requirements, double-check everything, and make sure to have a photocopy of them. Requirements vary from person to person. Mine were:
- printout of Application Form from online appointment
- Original Birth certificate from NSO
- Valid ID (my laminated BIR ID = trash; my old university ID = good)
- Supporting documents (I brought my TOR with dry seal, NBI clearance, and BIR Form 2316)
- NSO-certified Marriage Certificate of my parents <-- required since my family name is foreign sounding
- DOST Letter of Clearance <-- necessary to clear me from the "watchlist"
- Passport Fee: Php950

And so my journey began:

8:26AM. Just the right arrival for my 9:00AM appointment. Before you can go inside the building, you will have to present your application form at the Verification Counter right by the entrance. This part makes sure that you indeed have an appointment and other forms of verification.


They have (I think) more than twenty windows that serve applicants simultaneously, but still I spent almost an hour here as the queue was really long. At this part, you could check your documents for the nth time like what I did, or bring out your novel/magazine/crossword/sudoku/etc. If you don't have any, the overhead monitors showing Just For Laughs: Gags (and the full trailer of the final Harry Potter movie... Neat!) will surely alleviate your boredom. And don't worry, you'll be seated while in the queue.

And then my turn came. Window # 19. Before the serviceman could actually process my documents, he had to send me to the Director's Office for clearing of my DOST status. (NOTE: Only DOST Scholars who have not cleared their status yet will undergo this stage. I would assume that anyone whose name is being watchlisted for whatever purposes would have to undergo this step).


I was sent from Window #19 to the Director's Office to have my name cleared. In the D.O., they took my documents and had me wait as they cross-checked my records. some of us were called in cubicles for interview. In my case, they just gave me back my documents, with my application form now stamped with something that says I have no obligations in the DOST anymore.

STEP 1. (Continued)

I went back to Window #19 for processing of my documents. They took most of it and returned some. I'm sorry, everything happened relatively fast and I wasn't able to keep track of which documents were left on my hand. Anyhow, the serviceman said my records and requirements are good. So now I have to proceed to the Cashier for Payment.


The Cashier was located at the second floor, as well as the other remaining steps. The queue was short, and the whole process was quick. You will be given a queue number that you will use in the next and final step.


Here, you will see a network of micro-cubicles, each servicing the last step of the whole application process. Once your number is flashed in the monitor, you will have to go to the corresponding counter assigned to you. The staff will scan your documents, have you verify the details they encoded, get your digital thumbmark, get your digital signature, and Voila! You're done.


Passport Delivery/Courier Service

You have the option to come back for your passport once ready, or have them delivered to you. While waiting in Step 3, I saw girls roaming around, issuing receipts for those who want to avail the courier service. You will have to go to their stations (right beside the Step 3 stations) and have them encode your mailing address. You can do this step before or after Step 3.

10:20AM. I had the whole process COMPLETED.

DFA Passport Application. Check.
Duration. Two hours.
Next stop. Bureau of Immigration.



Anonymous said...

Nice post Lonewulf! Very helpful! i just got one question. I was also a DOST scholar when i was still studying. So i am on DOST watchlist. I have been working for 2 years now here in our country. I havent gone to DOST after i graduated. I was advised by my current company that i will be having a training outside the country. And so I applied to get a passport and my scheduled appointment is this coming April 7. Do i need to get a document or letter from DOST which i need to show on my appointment date at DFA-ASEANA? what document should that be? Any thoughts please.. thank you - Marco

LONEWULF said...

you're welcome. :)

as for your query, hmm.. i believe you would need to secure a TEMPORARY CLEARANCE from DOST so that you'll be allowed by DFA to go out. and to get that, you would need to make them (DOST) feel secure that you will come back.

How? Have them calculate how much you still owe them. And then you will have to purchase a "sort-of" time deposit financial instrument in a bank, with the same amount as your "DOST debt". i forgot what that was called. it will serve as a certificate that you have temporarily deposited in DOST's account. but once you're back in the country, you may take the full amount back.

i'm not too sure if the above is the correct process. but since i am right most of the time, then you should trust me on that. it will work. if it won't, then you have a free slap.. on me. :)

kidding aside, call DOST up to be a hundred percent sure of the correct process. try these: (02)839-0083, (02)837-1333, (02)837-2071 loc. 2382

but yeah, I am a hundred percent sure it will involve a temporary clearance. esp. as you said you haven't cleared your name from the watchlist yet, since after you graduated.

hope this helps :)

Anonymous said...

yo man my wife cant get a passport cause her papers are all new like drivers licence, nbi clearance etc, she has her birth certificate but still they asked her to provide old documents or old ids that she cant provide, is there an alternative or do you know n e one that can help her cause shes lacking sum documents ty

LONEWULF said...

hi visitor, I apologies as I won't be able to address your query. requirements vary from person to person.

i suggest you contact them again and ask for instructions on where you could secure the old documents that you need. I'm sure they would give you phone numbers at the least.

booger said...

Iba ang experience ko sa INTERVIEW / INVESTIGATION UNIT at the DIRECTOR'S OFFICE na yan sa DFA. Mataray yung nakausap ko. When you file for a lost valid passport meron pa palang 15 days clearing period. Because I have work and its hard to seek approval for a leave, I tried to reason to them to allow me to continue processing my passport. I added that I'm not aware of the 15 days clearing period and ask for some considerations. Pero wala talaga, ang sabi pa "Sir I'm telling you now that there is a 15 days clearing period, whether you are aware or not, you have to go thru the process." I know there's nothing wrong about what she said, what i did not like is how she said it. E parang sya yung nagbabayad ng oras ko eh, well in fact my taxes pays her salary.

LONEWULF said...

@Booger - Aaahh.. Yung sakin kasi New Application yun. Baka nga SOP talaga yung 15 days clearing period pag Lost Passport. Teka 15 days starting from? Ibig sabihin papakita ka muna dun to process and then after 15 days papabalikin ka pa para ipagpatuloy yung ibang STEPS? hassle naman yun.

At tama ka, there's always a good way to say certain things. Baka kulang lang sya sa training, or hindi pa sya kumakain, or iniwan sya ng asawa nya the night before. Hehe.. Dapat sinagot mo sya. Minsan na akong na-ganyan, di ko natiis kasi wala ako sa mood nun, sinagot ko sya ng "Miss, wag kang magsusungit at wag kang magsisimangot. Kung ayaw mo yang ginagawa mo,umalis ka!" <-- hehe.. sa may bakery sa amin to. the following week wala na sya dun. =)

Anonymous said...

Bakit me TOR pa sir?

LONEWULF said...

Hi anonymous, yung TOR ay supporting document lang. Kahit alin sa prescribed nila ppwede. Tatlo dinala ko para sure na sure na sure. :)

Anonymous said...

may tanung ako kaylangan b talaga magpaapointment...kc dati pumunta lng ako s dfa tska nag fel up ng form tas pumila ng mahaba...wala na ba ngaun nun?

Anonymous said...

Lonewulf thanks dito sa post mo. Napaghandaan ko mabuti yung pagpunta ko sa DFA. Di kami nabiktima ng Fixer. Malapit kasi kami dun sa dating DFA, me lumapit dun daw sa malapit dun yung step 1. Nasabi ko nga ang step 1 verification nung appointment. kasi nabasa ko dito. Di ko lang alam kung bakit pero ineexpect ko nga na di ako tutuloy sa Cashier kagad dahil sa DOST pero hindi na ako hinarang dun sa document verification. :-/

LONEWULF said...

Hi, you're welcome. :) buti nakatulong ang blog na to para di ka maloko. At least okay na docs mo. Congrats and happy trip!

kosherkitkit said...

do you know where to clear your name in DFA if you already have your passport?
here's my case, i applied (and got) my passport without undergoing the special investigation step. i dont know why. this is months before is got my DOST clearance. does this mean I am not on the watchlist?
but i want still to clear my name on their list!
thanks for your help...

LONEWULF said...

Hi kosherkitkit,

I'm sorry I do not know the answer to your question. And I am not sure why they issued you a passport in the first place, when you have not yet cleared your name with the DOST. They must have overlooked your ties to DOST when you first applied for a passport.

Just to be sure your name is cleared from the DFA's list, you might want to call them to verify. My guess is that it's already cleared since you have already obtained your clearance from DOST.


Anonymous said...

Went to DFA in SM Manila. Pinapapunta ako sa DFA - Aseana (main) dahil sa DOST. Lesson learned: Kapag DOST scholar ka, sa main ka na dumiretso.

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