Friday, September 11, 2009

How To Apply for a Philippine Passport

  1. Fill out an application form completely and complete the requirements before heading to DFA. This will save you time rather than proceeding to DFA unprepared. You can download the application form on the DFA web site. Read the instructions on how to print out the form. Printing the form specifies 8.5" x 13" bond paper. Read the instructions on page 2 of the application form. The requirements and the fees are specified on that page.
  2. Queue early at the DFA gate, which is at A. Arnaiz Avenue. The DFA office opens at 8:00 AM. If you get there earlier, you'd be done by 12:00 noon, otherwise, you'd be up queueing until 2:00 PM or later. The office closes at lunch break. For instructions on how to go to DFA, read my previous post. Companions not applying for a passport will be refused an entry. Avoid the fixers that roam the vicinity. You don't need their assistance.
Step 1. Verification of Your Documents (Where: Basketball court)
  1. Proceed to the basketball court. The basketball court is across the DFA building, not inside the DFA premises. In case you don't have an application form yet, you can get one at the information desk inside the court.
  2. If your documents are ready, queue for an appointment number. Your application form will be stapled with a slip stating the date and time you will need to proceed to Step 2. If you're lucky, you will be allowed entry at an earlier time.
  3. Queue for the verification of your application. It's a long queue. It will take you at least 40 minutes before your turn is called. Seats are provided for. When your turn comes, proceed to any window labeled A or B. The security guard will instruct you when your turn comes. There are 8 to10 windows to choose from. The procedure is quick. In a few minutes, you're done. To avoid delay, observe the people before you. If they're holding passports, they are applying for a renewal. If not, they may be new applicants. New applications take time to process compared to renewals. 
  4. When done at Window A or B, you may now proceed to Step 2, which is at the DFA compound. The security personnel controls the flow of applicants. In some cases, you will be instructed to stay at the waiting area (inside the basketball court) before you are allowed entrance to the DFA compound.
Step 2. Evaluation and Processing (Where: DFA premises / Gate 3)
  1. Upon entering the DFA building (from Gate 3), the first door on your right is where your application will be processed and evaluated. The room has no label so ask the guard by all means for instructions. Inside the Evaluation and Processing room, there are more than 20 windows to choose from. The procedure is quick if your papers are complete and applying for a renewal. First time applications take time to process, so quickly check the applicants on the line. If they're holding passports, they're up for renewal. If all your documents are complete and proper, you will be issued an unvalidated receipt. Regular processing fee is P500 and it takes 14 working days. Expedited processing will cost you P750; it will only take 7 working days.
Step 3. Payment and Data Encoding (Where: Auditorium)
  1. Next is payment. The cashier is at the auditorium. There are arrows in area to guide you how to go there. Again, you have to queue. The security will instruct you when your turn comes. Simply present the unvalidated receipt and the money to the cashier and you're done.
  2. After paying the fee, wait for your turn to be called again. This will be your last queueing. Once called, your application data will be encoded. You will be asked to double-check the entries. Check the data carefully. Make sure that there are no typographical errors.
  3. And the last step will be fingerprinting. It's an old-fashioned thumbmarking of your left and right thumb. Don't move your thumbs when you do it. Follow the instuctions carefully on how to do it. If you make a mistake, you will go back to the previous step.
Last Step. Delivery (Where: Basketball court)
  1. If you want your passport delivered to your house, LBC and other express delivery services are available at the basketball court. Don't worry. They're authorized by DFA. The fee is P100. You will need to give your receipt to LBC/delivery provider so that DFA can release your passport to them. Better have your passport delivered than go back to DFA and queue again for the release of your passport. If you want to personally pick up your passport, then go back to DFA on the date and time indicated in your receipt. So make sure you keep your receipt in a safe place.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

How To Go To DFA Manila (New Office Address)

Where To Schedule An Appointment for Your Passport Application or Renewal?

To secure a new or renew your passport, you need to apply online and schedule an appointment via the DFA Passport Appointment System. The new website for the DFA Passport Appointment System is The old site was If you go to the old site, you will be redirected to the new site.

Remember to complete all your requirements before going to your selected DFA regional, consular, or satellite office.

DFA Consular Office in Metro Manila

Update. The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA Consular Office) moved to a new location. Its new office address (DFA Consular Office) is:

ASEANA Business Park, Bradco Avenue corner Macapagal Boulevard, Paranaque City
Hotline (02) 737-1000

View Larger Map

DFA Passport Appointment System

With its DFA Passport Appointment System, you can now apply online and set an appointment date for your personal appearance (data capturing purposes). To schedule an appointment for your biometric data capturing, go to

Online, you have the option to choose which DFA consular or satellite office to go to for your biometric data capture.
  • Selected regional consular offices in the Philippines
  • DFA Consular Office in ASEANA Business Park, Macapagal Blvd, Parañaque
  • SM City Manila (the online site is SM City Manila is located at Conception Street Corner Arroceros, San Marcelino, Manila, 1000, Metro Manila.)
  • SM Megamall, EDSA, Pasig 
  • Robinsons Novaliches
  • Robinsons Galleria, EDSA-Ortigas Ave, Quezon City 
  • Ali Mall in Cubao, Quezon City
  • Alabang Town Center in Alabang Muntinlupa

DFA offices at the malls offer the following services:
  • new passport application, 
  • passport renewal, and 
  • authentication services. 
DFA offices at the malls are open on the following days:
  • Monday to Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. for both processing and releasing of passports and, 
  • Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., for passport releasing. 
For other DFA satellite (mall or mobile) offices, call DFA hotline at 737-1000. You can also visit Philippine Information Agency for a list DFA passporting services availability nearest your area.

DFA Main Office

The Department of Foreign Affairs is actually in Pasay City, Metro Manila. It's address is 2330 Roxas Boulevard, Pasay, 1300 Metro Manila. However, if your purpose of going there is to secure a passport, you need to use the back entrance, which is at Roberts Street.

But you don't have to go to this office to apply or renew your passport. For passport application or renewal, you have to schedule an appointment online. On the site, you have the option where to go to for your biometric data capture. You may choose DFA Consular Office (ASEANA), regional consular office, or any of the satellite offices located in selected malls in Metro Manila.

Nearest Intersection to DFA

View DFA Manila in a larger map

To get to DFA Manila in Pasay, if securing a passport is your purpose, its nearest intersection is F.B Harrison and A. Arnaiz Ave. (formerly Libertad Street). Whether you will travel by private or public transport, just find this intersection to surely find your way. DFA is just a few steps from this intersection. (Note. The map erroneously indicates Quirino Avenue; that should've been F.B. Harrison.)

By Private Transport

There are a number of routes to choose from when going to DFA Manila. You can select below whichever is convenient for you.

  • Via Roxas Boulevard, turn to Arnaiz Avenue (Libertad).
  • Via F.B. Harrison, turn to Arnaiz Avenue.
  • Via Buendia Avenue from Makati, turn to F.B. Harrison
  • Via A. Mabini Street (Rizal Park, Ermita, or Malate) bound from Quiapo or Binondo, make a U-turn at Buendia Avenue, then turn right to F.B. Harrison.
  • Via Taft Avenue, turn to Arnaiz Avenue
  • Via A.Arnaiz Avenue (formerly Pasay Road) bound from Makati 
  • Via SLEX, turn left to A. Arnaiz Avenue
  • Via EDSA, turn to Buendia Avenue or A. Arnaiz Avenue (Pasay Road)
By Public Transport

Wherever you're coming from, all routes should lead you to the nearest intersection, which is F.B. Harrison and A. Arnaiz Avenue (formerly Libertad). You can choose from the different public transport routes below.
  • Via F.B. Harrison, take Baclaran-Libertad route jeepneys
  • Via A. Mabini or F.B Harrison bound from Binondo, Quaipo, Ermita, or Malate, take any jeepney en route to Baclaran-Libertad-DFA.
  • Via Buendia Avenue, buses or jeepneys can drop you off at A. Mabini Street. At A. Mabini Street, take any jeepney with a DFA signboard.
  • Via EDSA or Buendia Avenue, take a bus en route to Buendia-Baclaran and get off at A. Mabini Street.
  • Via Chino Roces bound from PRC Makati, take Pasay-Libertad jeepney and get off at A. Arnaiz (Libertad).
  • Via Chino Roces (Pasong Tamo) or A. Arnaiz Avenue bound from Makati, take a jeepney en route to Evangelista. From Evangelista Street, take Pasay-Libertad jeepney.
  • From SLEX, take any bus en route to Buendia-Taft. From Buendia-Taft, take any jeepney en route to DFA (usually with DFA or Libertad signboards).
  • Via Taft Avenue, get off at A. Arnaiz (Libertad). Take any ride going to DFA.
English Grammar Tip

To "commute" means "to travel a long distance every day between your home and your place of work." (Collins Cobuild Essential English Dictionary). You can commute either by public or private transport. To commute is not restricted to public transport such as jeepneys, buses, or trains. You can commute with your own car, in a cab, or somebody else's car. You can even commute using a helicopter or a boat if that's what you use every day to go to work. Filipinos have erroneously used the word to "commute" to mean "to use or to travel by public transport."

Traveling Tip 

I used to work for the Ayala Corporation. While my friends and I were having a chat with one of its executives who frequently travel with his family, he gave us an interesting advice that is worth following. Telling us his story, he said that each time you receive a bonus, like 13th month pay, Christmas, or midyear bonus, spend it to a vacation out-of-town or abroad. Invest it with your family rather than on buying appliances or repairing your house. His reason was simple.

Traveling with your family is irreplaceable. The good memories you gain last a lifetime. Your money is definitely wisely spent because you exchange it with something priceless. Unlike appliances and furniture, after 3 to 5 years, they are no longer usable and just go to garbage. Travel with your family endures many years because your memories are shared and passed from generation to generation.

So, if you go gaga about cheap flight promos, go ahead. Travel with your family. Book your flights early to avail yourself of special promos being offered by commercial airlines. Check and compare the cheapest tickets. I do it on this site. Try it how.