LAOAG CITY - Hundreds of Ilocos Sur residents availed on Monday of the mobile passporting services of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in partnership with the provincial government.
Held at the Provincial Farmers Livelihood Development Center in Vigan City, the DFA allotted 1,200 slots during the pre-application for new and old passport applicants from May 23 to 26.
Ginalyn Tablac from Santa Cruz town was one of the early birds who lined up for the pre-passport application where documentary requirements were checked.
"The passport on wheels is really a big help for us because we can save more on time and budget without traveling far," Tablac said, noting that the nearest DFA Consular Office is in San Fernando City, La Union.
Provincial Tourism Office administrative assistant Chester Adona said the pre-application is on a "first-come, first-serve basis" as they can only process up to a maximum of 300 applicants per day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The processing date is set for June 15 to 16.
Every year, the passport on wheels program is being rolled out in Ilocos Sur to cater to residents who have been requesting it.
"This is something that we have been working for years now with the DFA in order to serve our constituents and lessen their burden in going to the regional office in La Union to secure their passport," Governor Ryan Singson said in an interview Monday.
Even during a pandemic, the demand for passport services remains high in this northern part of Luzon, especially after the rollout of passports valid for 10 years.
As part of the government's commitment to bring its services closer to the people, the DFA continues to partner with interested local government units including schools and other organizations to provide mobile passport services.
The passport on wheels service or mobile passport program can be availed by sending a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs of the DFA via email at email@example.com. (PNA)