i have just applied for the e-passport after dilly-dallying on it for a while. the last time i had it renewed was through courier service since i really hate those long queues and the travel all the way to DFA in Pasay.
this process however proved to be quite a more convenient experience. here are the quick steps:
1. make an appointment by signing up at the DFA website click on the e-passport and fill in the data. you will automatically receive an email in your account confirming your application. after a couple of days, you will receive another email detailing your schedule.
2. prepare your requirements, this will consist of a print-out of your letter/email, an accomplished application form which you can also download in the website, a photocopy of your passport details (front and back info page), recent stamps/visa (if any), your old passport/s, and your fee. rates are at Php950 for 14-working days, Php 1300 for an expedited process (7 working days). photo taking will be done during the process so wear your formal shirt with collar.
3. come to the appointment early, proceed directly to Gate 3 and Window 28. vehemently ignore the fixers, they could become totally annoying. look for the guards if you need questions and directions. at the Window 28, you need to submit all your requirements. you will be given a voucher and will have to pay at the cashier where you will be given a receipt. then proceed to the second floor for the picture taking and biometrics (thumbmarks and signatures and basic information). once this is done, then you are done! it was over in less than 30 minutes.
4. you can opt to avail of their courier service in case you don't want to go back anymore to pick up your new e-passport. proceed to the basketball court (yes, there's such a court in our DFA office!) and search for your chosen courier service providers like aboitiz 2go, DHL, LBC, etc. rate is at Php99-100.
now for my bloopers and anecdotes .
i thought i had it all figured out, my appointment was for 9-10am so i thought of leaving the house by 7:30 and just take the LRT2-MRT route which i hoped will take me to the DFA by 8:30. but yay, the MRT was jampacked! i waited for 3-4 trains and i could still not squeeze my tiny self in! it was almost 9am so i had no choice but to retreat and hail a cab instead. napamahal pa tuloy ako, oh well.
-i say vehemently refuse those fixers, i almost fell into one haha! imagine there was this girl who approached me as i neared the gate who introduced herself as a "guide". she told me i should get into this place where i'm supposed to get my "priority number". i almost went inside but took a second look, my it was a mini carenderia. although there was a table and a guy sitting behind it, there was no one else there. i hesitated and eventually left the place and walked away fast haha! i saw a guard farther up who was holding a megaphone telling all those fixers to stay away. and i finally saw the tiny gate with an obscure DFA sign, yehey!
- there's a dizzying alley that leads to the main doors and i finally felt safer as guards abound and those fixers were no longer allowed entry.
-there was no one in line at Window 28, it was past 9am but i was only applicant number 19.
-there is a separate cashier for e-passports as well and i was served in no time.
-i had my picture taken at the second floor, if you are lucky and there's no one next to you could actually request for retakes till you are satisfied with your photo. hey, this is after all your passport for the next 5 years! if you could help it though, ask for an afternoon appointment. you really can't go there and smile wearing your just-woken up face, or have that look of someone who just had an all-nighter. haay, i looked like an old haggard woman in my picture. or maybe i'm really just getting old already. i've got creases, wrinkles on my face, sigh.
-i chose aboitiz 2go to deliver my passport, it says though that i'm only getting it by Nov. 20. matagal din pala. but at least i'm done with the process and all i can do now is wait.
-before i left the DFA area, i went back to that mini carenderia and took a photo, heto po siya:
imagine, i'm supposed to get my "priority number" there daw? lokong mga yun ah!