Unclaimed passports of Pinoys in UAE to be canceled by end-April

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The Philippine Consulate General in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates will cancel by end-April hundreds of unclaimed passports that had been issued since September 2012 or earlier.


Filipino OFWs fall in line at a Philippine consular office in UAE
Filipino OFWs fall in line at a Philippine consular office in UAE


Consul General Frank Cimafranca said they may soon be stricter with the disposal of unclaimed passports, which he said are clogging up the consulate general's system, Gulf News reported on Thursday.

“Under regulations, unclaimed passports of more than six months from the time we receive them should be cancelled because these are accountable forms. But we give a certain leeway of one year,” Cimafranca said.

The consulate currently processes up to 250 passport applications daily, or 5,000 monthly. The database for passport processing can take up to 12,000 applications.

However, the unclaimed passports are still in the system, and can clog the database until the passports are claimed.

The Gulf News report said the consulate issued a similar notice of disposal of some 800 unclaimed passports for 2011 and earlier, in March 2012.

After that deadline lapsed, the Consulate General was forced to cancel 674 unclaimed passports.

Improvements in appointment system

The Consulate General is planning to implement a system of specific timing for appointments for passport applications instead of the daily appointment system.

The Gulf News report said proposals to outsource passport services to private companies have been sent to the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila.

Pinoy mentality

Cimafranca urged Filipinos to plan ahead in renewing their passports.

“I advise them to book their appointments for passport renewal even one year before their passports expire. Filipinos have this habit of doing things at the last minute and this should not be the case,” he said.

Meanwhile, the consulate also noted a steady rise of more than 200 percent in passport applications for December, January and February compared to the same period last year.

Vice Consul Geronimo Suliguin said the Philippine post has become busier, serving some 1,000 people a day.--Source: GMA News





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