The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) today appealed for the understanding of the travelling public as it announced that the delay in passport releases could last for a few more weeks as a result of technical concerns and the surge in the demand for the ePassport.
“We apologize for the inconvenience caused by the delays, but we would like to assure the public that we are exerting our best efforts to resolve the issues as soon as possible,” Consul General Celia Anna M. Feria said.
“The Philippine Embassy will work hard to ensure that those with urgent travel are accommodated. We would like to request those without immediate travel plans to defer their applications until the situation has normalized.” Consul General Feria added.
Those with expiring passports who cannot forego their travel may opt to apply for an extension of the validity of their existing passports instead of applying for renewal.
The delay in passport releases is primarily the result of maintenance work and upgrades on equipment in the ePassport Personalization Center at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) facility in Quezon City, Philippines.
The DFA has been working closely with the BSP to resolve the issue and is confident that it would be able to reduce the waiting period in the coming weeks.
At present, applicants will have to wait an additional 2 to 4 weeks before their passports could be released, making processing time between 6 to 8 weeks.