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‘Log book’ for Philippines passport applicants

Olivia Olarte / 13 March 2011

ABU DHABI —The Philippine Embassy implemented a ‘log book’ system for biometric passport applicants in the Capital from Thursday. This is expected to enable the Embassy to process 120 applications daily.

The new measure was undertaken by the mission as a result of the increasing volume of applications for the biometric passport.

According to the new procedure, walk-in applicants can write down their names and telephone numbers in the log book according to the time (am or pm) and preferred date. Applicants for the morning slot should be at the embassy at 8am while those in the afternoon at 1pm.  This is to “ensure that all those listed will be accommodated,” said the embassy circular. 

“Non-appearance on the said date and time will forfeit their slot,” it added.

Personal appearance is required when signing the log book and a valid identification must be also resented. No representatives will be allowed to register.   Exemption from the ‘log book’ system will be given to infants and persons with disability (PWD), who shall be given priority.

Previously, the embassy used to accept passport application renewals for every first 100 individuals. Those who exceeded the cut-off limit were given ‘ticket stubs’ to process their applications the following day. However, many failed to turn up or would give away their stubs to other applicants.

Noting its policy on ‘first-come,-first-serve’ basis, Adelio Cruz, consul -general of the embassy, said that the mission is committed to providing efficient and quality services to everyone across the UAE.

“We want a system where people invest a little of their time and give value to their slot. With this new system, you choose your own schedule, so you should respect it. We’re trying to implement an effective system,” Cruz told Khaleej Times.

The volume of applicants at the Philippine Embassy increased since the past one month due to a large number of Filipinos coming from Dubai and the Northern Emirates. Cruz described the ratio as four Dubai applicants for every one Abu Dhabi applicant. He attributed the rush here for the two-month waiting period at the Philippine Consulate in Dubai, which follows an ‘online appointment’ system.

“We have also considered the online appointment system, but chances are 50 will apply and only 20 will come. We have also mulled the walk-in system, but we don’t want people sleeping outside the embassy (to queue),” explained Cruz.

“The system being implemented in Dubai works in Dubai, but we have to establish a system that works in Abu Dhabi,” said Cruz.

He stressed that the ‘log book’ system will work in Abu Dhabi as this will allow his compatriots the chance to process their passport renewal during their days-off, as well as, give those coming out of town — Al Ain, Beda Zayed, Ruwais and Ghuwaifat — the option to come in the afternoon.

Cruz urged all Filipinos to be aware of their passport’s expiry date and to start the process of renewal at least six months in advance. Embassy hours are from 8am to 12pm and 1pm to 5pm, Sundays to Thursdays. — olivia@khaleejtimes.com

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