This is a guide for first time passport applicants in Davao.
What to Prepare: (taken from dfa.gov.ph)
1. NSO-Authenticated Birth Certificate
2. At least 3 supporting documents showing your full name, date and place of birth. Government-issued IDs such as SSS ID (or Form E-1), GSIS ID, Driver's license, Voter's ID, etc. can also be included.
3. Filled-up Passport application form - You can get one from the Information Desk at the DFA office.
Where to Go:
The DFA office is located at Jacinto Street, in front of ADDU Motorpool. It's the building with the Philippine flag on it.
What to Do:
The passport application process can be broken down into 3 major steps/visits:
1. Setting an appointment for processing
2. Actual processing
3. Claiming of passport
Processing Time and Fees:
1. Normal Processing (23 working days) - Php950.00
2. Express Processing (13 working days) - Php1,200.00
Setting an Appointment for Processing
Because of the recent changes in passport processing and the implementation of the e-Passport, the time in getting your passport has become more spread out over weeks or months.
Before, you can walk in and be able to finish processing your passport in one day. But with the new e-Passport, on your first visit, all you'll be able to accomplish is set an appointment for when you can start processing your papers. You will usually be scheduled to come back a week or two from the time you applied for an appointment.
To get an appointment, you have to:
1. Fill up the passport application form, which you can get from the DFA office. There is no need to attach a passport-sized picture because DFA will take your picture for you when you start processing.
2. Line up at the door and wait for your turn to show your form to the person at the Information Desk. Your form will be stamped with a date and time for your scheduled processing.
It is a MYTH that if you come at 4am you will be first. I would not advise you to come at such a time in the morning because the office does not entertain applicants until 8am. I would suggest instead that you come just before 8am because that's the time when they ask the applicants to line up. So regardless of what time you came, if you are quick on your toes, you can be first in line.
3. Make sure that you had your form stamped with your schedule because you will need to show this on your next visit so that you will be prioritized. Now, you can go home or gather all the other requirements that you need. The supporting documents are found at the back of the form.
It's now your scheduled date to begin processing. To avoid delays or failing the application process, make sure that you have all the documents required - both the original and photocopy. It would be best to staple the photocopies together with your application form. You will also have to submit the ORIGINAL copy of your NSO-Authenticated Birth certificate. Also, wear a decent attire - a collared shirt, pants (not shorts), and shoes (not slippers).
The following steps will describe the processing:
1. When you come, show your stamped form to the security guard and he will let you in. Submit your form and the photocopies of your supporting documents to the counters (Counter 4, in my case) on the left side. Wait for your turn to be called to the counter.
2. When you are called, bring out the original copies of your supporting documents. You will be interviewed by the counter person. By interview, it means that they will ask you questions to make sure that you are who you say you are - that you are not impersonating anyone.
3. If you pass, you will be directed to the encoding section, which is just across the room. Submit your form and documents to the encoder. At the same time, your picture will be taken (for guidelines on picture-taking, please visit dfa.gov.ph). Your thumbprints and signature will also be captured digitally.
4. After encoding, make sure to CHECK your information THOROUGHLY on the printout because this will be the basis of your passport information. Check the spellings, capitalization, etc.
5. After checking, go back to submit your papers to Counter 4 again for further verification. If there are still discrepancies, you will be notified immediately.
6. Finally, go to the cashier to pay your respective fee. Php950 for normal processing and Php1,200 for express processing.
7. The receipt will reflect when your passport will be available for pickup. KEEP the receipt because you will have to present this to claim your passport.
Claiming of Passport
Releasing of passports is only in the afternoons. Show your original receipt. Check your passport again for any mistakes. Should you find any mistakes, you will have to pay the fee again for reprinting.
I would really recommend seeking the help of a DFA-accredited travel agency (there's a list of those outside the building) because they can really speed up your processing. If you go to them today, immediately tomorrow you will be able to start processing your passport - unlike doing it yourself where it will be a week or two before you get a schedule.
While seeking the help of a travel agency may cost you more, I think it is worth it because while you process, their liaison officer will be there with you to help you and followup your papers. No more waiting in line and running around to know what you need. They will tell you what the problem with your documents is and advise you about what to do.
They will also be the one to claim your passport from DFA so you do not have to go there again and line up.