After patiently waiting for 2 months from filing, finally my passport has been renewed and released. It has been neglected for quite some time because having a sick mother to care, I didn't find any reason to renew it much more use it
But DFA moved nearby, and when our mother passed away... that's when my sister and I decided to renew our passports again...
At the moment, DFA is housed in Pacific Mall in Mandaue City. Location is convenient for people coming from the north of Cebu, but quite far from people coming from the south. I would probably complained too, if it was reversed and DFA is located in Talisay and I would be traveling all the way from Mandaue. I think the ideal location would be smack in the middle of Cebu City, because it is the center of north and south Cebu.
|Facade of Pacific Mall|
|Pacific Mall from the road|
Here below is supposedly the entrance, but you have to take the elevator because the office is in the 4th floor. Actually we would rather pass through the mall to get to the elevator.
It is best to read the guidelines here below. We can actually ask for the application beforehand, but we need to get a ticket number for the actual processing - because DFA is strict in the number of accounts to be processed in a day. So what we did, we lined up very early - around quarter to 6:00 AM, because if 500 tickets or numbers have already been given, we have to come back again the next day. I think in Manila, one can actually choose a schedule for appearance. We did try it via the internet, but we found it is not applicable in Cebu.
After we got our number, we paid the fees. Then we began to line up for the encoding and picture taking (one does not need to submit pictures anymore because it is done in front of the processing officer). But the good news was, we do not need to line up standing because benches were provided. We sat down while waiting. However for a very busy day, there is an expected long period of waiting...
After encoding of name and picture taking, we were advised to come back after 6 to a maximum 7 weeks for the release of the new or renewed passport. When I asked for express processing, they said there is no more express processing. But how come it is still pasted in the schedule of fees? They should have taken it away, so the public will not be misled...
|Encoding and Picture Taking Area|
Actually I find the whole process smooth and even fast, even if there is a waiting period. I also realized being located inside a mall is very advantageous, because it is easy to find food when we get hungry. It is also cool inside the mall, and even when there are a lot of people we don't get to suffer much heat.