MANILA Applicants can now pay for their passport application or passport renewal through the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) ePayment Portal, DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano announced Thursday.
The DFA ePayment Portal is an upgrade to their online appointment system, enabling passport applicants to pay their passport processing fees through selected payment centers nationwide.
The ePayment portal will initially apply for applications submitted at the DFA Aseana Consular Office beginning June and would be rolled out in Metro Manila in July and nationwide by August.
During the system's launch at Market! Market! in Taguig, Cayetano expressed optimism this will further "maximize" the capacity of their consular offices.
With ePayment, we expect that noshows in our consular offices will be significantly reduced, if not totally eliminated. By prepaying, applicants are encouraged to show up lest they forfeit their passport processing fee, he said.
The official revealed that only 60 to 65 percent of applicants appear at DFA consular offices on their date of appointment under the old system.
He said ePayment tests at DFA Aseana in ParaAaque City posted a showup rate of 9497 percent compared to the current 6065 percent.
With near 100 percent showup rates and quicker turnaround of applicants at our consular offices, the DFA through ePayment will be able to serve more applicants daily, particularly those who need it the most, he noted.
In addition, DFA expects that the ePayment will help nix fixers and scammers since the scheme requires applicants to pay the fee prior to their personal appearance at their consular office of choice. The appointment made is nontransferable.
The ePayment portal has safeguards in place that will discourage and prevent unscrupulous individuals from hoarding passport appointment slots, Cayetano said.
At present, the official said the ePayment system does not allow for a refund, but he assured that should there be a concern and the problem falls on the DFA's part, the agency "will address it in favor of the customer."
Accredited payment centers are the following: Bayad Center; EcPay; Pera Hub; Robinsons Business Center and Department Store; Walter Mart Department Store; 7Eleven; USCC Western Union; and Villarica Pawnshop. Other payment centers as well as credit/debit card payment facility will be made available soon.
The passport application fees are PHP1,200 for expedited and PHP900 for regular processing. With the ePayment system, a PHP50 convenience fee will be charged by the authorized payment centers.
Basic information on DFA's ePayment Portal may be viewed at dfa.gov.ph/dfanews/statementsandadvisoriesupdate/16832basicinformationonthedfaepaymentportal and dfa.gov.ph/dfanews/statementsandadvisoriesupdate/16834mgaimpormasiyonsadfaepaymentportal. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency