On Getting a Passport and Why I Like DFA Sec. Cayetano


Owing to a number of circumstances (the chief ones being that I hate long lines and filling out long forms by hand), all of my official government IDs are expired.

If it weren’t for a work related trip to Tokyo coming up soon, I wouldn’t have even bothered to start looking into getting my passport renewed.

Thing with getting my passport renewed is that it expired in 2003 and to get a new one, even with all the improvements in the Philippine Passport system, still involves presenting at least two official government issued IDs.

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It is silly that a nobody like me has to be so thoroughly documented! Haha! (Which reminds me that the fuss and mess of having to have several government issued IDs makes for a good argument to finally implement a unified ID system. Of course my leftist friends will oppose it for reasons which I can’t recall at the moment.)

Anyway, I’m well on my way to securing the required government issued IDs which will enable me to secure my passport renewal.

Good time as any, I guess, because it was around the beginning of January this year that news got out that the schedule for passport appointments were fully booked till March.

There was a bit of a furor over this and DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano acted quickly, opening 100,000 more slots.

His quick action on opening up more passport appointment slots seems to have been preceded by a jump in passport production.

In 2016, average monthly production of Philippine Passports was at 259,176 and in 2017, with Cayetano at the helm of DFA, passport production rose to 309,410.

Annual passport production rose from 3,110,114 in 2016 to 3,712,920 in 2017 representing an increase of 19.38%.

While we can’t as of yet have a unified national ID system, it is quite a relief that the Philippine passports being issued this year will be valid to 10 years instead of 5!

6 Replies to “On Getting a Passport and Why I Like DFA Sec. Cayetano”

  1. I believe in the National I.D. system. There should be a way, where the person’s I.D., is placed under his/her skin. And, anybody can just scan, this electronic I.D. device. Much like they can scan groceries in the supermarket counters.

    Of course, Passports are different. Safeguarding pass[ports is an important thing.

  2. I really find this an interesting read. I cant give you any production numbers for my country bec I dont think it works that way in my country. Just for comparison, here is some info in reference to passports in my country.

    You make an appointment (online, at the website of the city/village/town where you live) to renew your passport. At the appointment (in city hall) you bring a passport photograph, your old passport and your bank card or credit card. You pay the cost/price of your new passport (€ 65,30)* and 5 office days later, you can collect your new passport. The (new) passport is valid for 10 years.

    * € 65,30 = approx PHP 3,445.57 = approx USD$ 73.66.

    Or you can apply for an ID Card. This ID card is just slightly cheaper (€ 51.05) than a passport and cant be used as travel document to enter many foreign countries. Valid: 10 years and also needs a photo.

    Then there is a driver’s license (€ 39.45). But in most or even all cases that is NOT recognized as a way to ID yourself.

    In short, in my country, we only have 2 documents (passport and/or ID card) to identify yourself.

    1. I didn’t even have trouble replacing my UK passport when I was on the other side of the world (Australia). I just went to the nearest post office, filled in a form, they took a passport photo, I paid and handed over my old passport, then I picked up my new passport air-mailed from the UK a week or two later. They didn’t need to see any other ID, which is good, because I’ve never had/needed any. The Philippines loves to make things needlessly complicated.

  3. Just to add:
    In my own country, I never needed a document to identify myself in daily life. As long as I dont visit any foreign country, there is actually no need to buy/have a passport (for me). And personally, I see a passport only as a travel document. The size of a passport makes it inconvenient for me to have it on me every day.

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