My Epic Fail Passport Application

As one of the recipients of RA 7687 S&T Scholarships 4-year program, it is my obligation to give back to our country what it has given me as well so it never came to me to apply for a passport because I won't be able to travel out of the country to work or even to have a vacation unless I can secure a clearance letter from the DOST office. Though my brother had been encouraging me so I could work in Dubai with him, I didn't have any other choice than to wait for four years. However, I had read a lot of blog posts about a co-DOST scholars who haven't finish their obligation yet were able to travel abroad and work there and recently, I learned about the memo concerning DOST scholars' right to travel dated June 14, 2012 wherein all DOST scholars don't have any more derogatory records in the Bureau of Immigration database. And so to verify this, I sent an email to BI regarding the said memo and their reply... Tada!!!

"Dear Maam:
We referred your concern to the Verification Certification Section and they would like to inform you that the name Jean B. Beltran has no Derogatory record in the database as of October 18, 2012."

And so this post had come up, my first attempt to apply for a passport was last Monday, November 5, 2012. Confidently, James and I arrived at Pacific Mall Mandaue City at seven in the morning. I never expected the scene I saw - four long lines of tired yet hopeful Filipino citizens who just like me want to get their own passport and travel abroad. And so I got discouraged to continue and instead went back home which I truly regret, it was a mistake because I never went down and ask for certain questions regarding the application.

Anyways, we went back for the second time yesterday, November 9, 2012 together with Darwin who just celebrated his birthday a day before yesterday and we arrived two hours earlier that was five in the morning. Surprisingly, the lines were still long and we stood at the fourth line this time, almost the same standing to my previous visit. However we didn't go back, it was still dark yet the people there were very enthusiastic about their reason of getting there. I learned that some were already renewing for their passport while mostly were on the application stage yet.
Our laughter ended when one of the security guards told us that only 250 persons will be accommodated and usually, that will only compose of three lines. My blood pressure started to go high not because I was on the fourth line but because of how they handle their priority system. The first in line ladies were already there since eleven in the evening the other day, there were oldies, senior citizens who have been waiting since four in the morning and others who came from the provinces whom were very hopeful that they can acquire their passports. I don't really know their backgrounds but I believe some of them might had debts just to be able to come here, most had jobs but opted to go on absence just to apply today yet they were like not considerate on those things.

I talked personally to the security guard whom I forgot the name and he said that before they serve 500 applicants per day but since the "system is down" they would cater 250 only. He couldn't explain what that "system" is but he is firm in explaining to us that most of the time, only the third line can be accommodated. Distributing of priority numbers will be at seven in the morning, and then the DFA personnel will call them one by one at ten o'clock later on.
This type of system is really bullshit. They should have given each person who comes in a priority number as soon as he or she arrives so we won't hope and continue to stand outside like victims asking for food. There were instances when the people who came in last stood at the first line because they have friends who came earlier. Then at seven when the numbers were given, the rain poured and so the rest of the applicants who didn't have their umbrellas went to the sheltered part and poof! The lines were ruined and there were fourth line applicants who were able to insert in the first and second lines. Mouth dropped, disappointed but in my mind I need to know what I can do the next time so I won't have to experience this anymore. We continued to wait until they declare the end of the line, we were almost part of the 250s but we have to go back and move on. I heard a lot of sad stories when we were on our way back. I pity those who came from the provinces, though those who had ship tickets from Bohol and Cebu was given priority.

It was a gloomy day for me and for James and for Darwin but we promised we will succeed in my third attempt which will be soon so stay tuned. Better luck next week!

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4 Comments to “My Epic Fail Passport Application”

  • What if imong ipaagi through travel agencies to assist you? i think that would be lesser hassle since u are working night shift. u just have to wait and add few fees. while reading ur post, maka ingon gyud ko nga ipaagi nalang og travel agency. anyway, naay puno bayad but ang oras lang i still have time to rest if mao na ang nahitabo nimo while applying. :)

  • hi rox.. mao sad ako gihunahuna but ganahan sad unta ko maka experience nga ako mo apply...if in case d na jd kaya ako na ni i agency...hehe

  • same sa akong NSO, ako nalang gepa agi sa among munisipyo although mag wait pud og pila ka weeks. but ang importante wa ko mahasol ke wa sad ko magdali. hehehe! pero mokuha pa kog laing birth certificate with resibo ke ang akong NSO, nawa ang resibo niya. required man sa travel agency. og mokuha napud og laing NBI clearance ke expired napud. tawgon nalang for appearance :D

  • hehe..mao lage...pero ok ra kay naa man sad ko mga kuyog pag kuha rox.. pero tan awon lang n ron.. ang NSO i guess dali ra kau mokuha ron,,mas paspas na ang paagi bisan daghan tawo..wala ra 1 day makakuha na...

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