Getting Renewed

Posted by Abdel Kadz on Monday, August 11, 2008 with 2 comments
Remember my last post on my passport renewal? It turned out that I spent three times more than the original price to have it renewed. That's because I had it processed via a travel agency. Everything was like orchestrated by persons wanting to buck in at the ignorance of applicants when I went to DFA last week.

Before going inside the government office, I had my passport photocopied. The people who loiter the streets started to approach me asking if I was there to get a new passport or to have my old one renewed. I didn't mind them and said that I could manage on my own. After getting my copies, this store where I was had application forms, and as added service, they'll do the pasting of the photos and the fingerprinting at no extra cost. Little did I know that, when they saw my newly taken passport photos, I would be asked to have a new one taken (at P160) because the one I had would most likely be rejected. It was too digitized, this one person said out of nowhere, as if he was in connivance with the rest inside the store. Afraid to return again to DFA just because of the photos, I gave in. And what a waste of money it was to have spent twice just for the pictures. I've heard from this one applicant that the very photos he had taken by one of the stores lining the street toward DFA was rejected. The means that some take to earn extra cash, what a shame.

I didn't know what steps to take to have a passport renewed here in Manila because I got mine in Zamboanga City in 2005. I've heard about the long lines and how some applicants go to DFA as early as 6:00 am just to get ahead of everybody else. Even though I will be spending twice more (P1,300), I decided to go with 2Go. However, when I asked this guy who was also having his passport renewed and would soon be leaving for Riyadh, he said that I would be spending close to P2,200 if I opted for that. He further added that a travel agency, who is also processing his passport renewal, charges only P1,700. This became the likely choice for me. When we were outside and the business with the agency was done and over with, I asked again if he really spent 2,200 for the services of 2Go. He said, shrugging his shoulders, that he was not 100 percent sure and that it was a long time ago (in 1997) when he contracted the services of a cargo and freight company. I'm not even sure if we were talking about the same establishment and to think I only called 2Go a day prior to dropping by DFA! Sighs.

To make the long story short, I will be getting my new maroon, machine-readable passport on August 21. I already made the personal appearance (yes, they require this even if you had somebody else taking care of the processing for you) last week, and I'll recommend getting the services of a third party just to save you time. The lines are long, I tell you, even with the personal appearance where they just take your thumb prints and your signature. I'll recommend that you try looking for an agency offering less than the one I found to save you extra bucks. If 2go is cheaper, by all means go with that.