Dubai: Philippine missions are now requiring some Filipinos applying for passport renewal to bring a copy of their birth certificates to proceed with their application or risk not getting processed on the day.
The requirement applies to Filipinos whose passports indicate only the “province of their birth”. To rectify the issue, these passport holders are now required to bring a copy of their birth certificates issued by the National Statistics Office (now the Philippine Statistics Authority).
Vice-Consul Elizabeth Picar Ramos said the new advanced system requires for the place of birth to be keyed in, specifically the city or municipality of birth. Passports indicating provinces only will not be processed without the birth certificate.
“We are now required to input the city or municipality of birth. This is why we require our compatriots to bring their birth certificates so we can scan it together with the passport application and send it to Manila,” Ramos told Gulf News.
“If the application does not have a scanned copy of the birth certificate, the printing gets suspended in Manila. So we do not accept or process applicants here unless they have all the required documents because lifting the suspension is a difficult process.”
For example, if an applicant’s birthplace in the passport says “Cebu”, the system will not accept the application. It has to be the city or municipality in the province of Cebu mentioned in his birth certificate.
Ramos said this new requirement started in August. The consulate sends reminders to applicants along with their online application appointments. However, many applicants still fail to bring the needed document.
Ramos also urged applicants to have all their documents in order when they reach the consulate to save on time in the renewal process.
The consulate processes 360 passport applications a day spread across eight hours with no lunch break.
Ramos also reiterated that Filipinos can apply for passport renewal or book their online appointments as early as 10 months before their passport expires to “give ample time for the arrival of the new passports”.
Passport applications are also strictly by appointment and free of charge through the Passport Appointment Portal, except for domestic workers, seafarers, senior citizens, and children below 12 years.
As of June 1, all applicants who don’t show up on their appointment dates are required to re-apply for an appointment online.
Meanwhile, Ramos said the guidelines for the newly approved passport with 10-year validity have yet to be issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila.