Philippine Passport Renewal In No Time At DFA Megamall, No Need For Appointment

So my Philippine passport has been expired since 2012 but I have not given it much thought until my US-based sister who is out to go to the Philippines for a short vacation generously decided to give our whole family (well almost) an all-expense paid trip to Macau. At first it got me sad because I realized my expired passport will not allow me to be part of her treat. 

My husband and I tried to set up an appointment for passport renewal online but it just made me sadder. I am sure folks who have tried to use that system will be able to understand. There are no open schedules unless we can wait for about two months. We even considered getting a schedule in DFA satellite offices in nearby provinces but then did not attempt since schedules there are full too. 

Until I saw the exceptions in DFA passport appointment system which includes senior citizens and minors up to 7 years old. My mother and daughters fit this criterion so we all excitedly went to DFA Alimall in Cubao one morning to apply for passports (renewal for my 74-year old mom and first-time application for my 7-year old daughter). 

I picked DFA Alimall since I heard that it was easy to apply for a passport here but I was disappointed. The security officer told us that only my mother will be allowed to apply for a passport since they do not prioritize giving the exception privileges to minors. Apparently, my daughter can only apply if accompanied by a parent is who is a valid passport holder. Since my passport is expired, it was out of the question. I am hoping they would allow me to renew at the same time so my daughter can have a passport but they would not. I questioned their rule because I read that other satellite offices allow it. Besides, they seem to make things difficult for a minor to apply for a passport. 

When I mentioned it to the officer, she made me feel like it is really impossible for my daughter to apply for a passport without an appointment. They even asked me to go to DSWD to apply for a travel clearance for my daughter which will be another tedious and quite costly process. 

I was losing hope when I thought of inquiring in DFA Megamall and was so surprised when the security officer told me that surely a minor below 7 is allowed to use the special lane as long as the child is accompanied by a parent (even if the parent has no valid passport). Apparently, the parent can renew or apply for a passport together with the minor. Thus no need to set an appointment for me too! I was so happy to hear what he said! I cannot believe that the officers in DFA Alimall did not even refer me to DFA Megamall if they cannot accommodate us. Well to be fair, they may be unaware that it is allowed in DFA Mega. 

Anyway the passport processing in DFA Mega is smooth and fast! The officers are all very polite and efficient too. So this post will have a happy ending after all. My husband and I were able to renew our passports and our daughters are now passport holders as well. 

Thanks to DFA Megamall for accommodating us! Kudos for great service! So parents of minors who immediately need to renew or apply for a passport and are also frustrated with the online appointment system. You may want to apply with your kids and try in DFA Mega. 

Disclaimer: This post is based from my experience and I do not guarantee anything with regards to passport application in DFA Mega. As you know, rules may change in time. Let us just hope for a better DFA passport application and renewal system soon.

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