Flight chronicles of the backpacker Tutubi, with travelogues, pictures/photos/videos, travel guides, independent and honest reviews, affordable, recommended resorts and hotels (including inns, guesthouses, pension houses, lodges, hostels, condotels, bed and breakfast and other cheap accommodations), commuting guides, routes (sometimes street maps and GPS coordinates/waypoints) and driving directions to answer "how to get there" questions, information and tips on tourism, budget travel and living in Philippines, Exotic Asia and beyond!
Backpacking, independent travel, and flashpacking are cheaper than the "cheapest package tours" and promotional offers around but you can also use travel information for family vacations, even romantic honeymoon destinations.
More than the usual tourist spots and "places to see," this blog advocates heritage conservation, environmental protection, and history awareness for Filipinos, foreigners, and ex-pats wishing to explore Paradise Philippines and Exotic Asia!
Of Fixers and DFA Hotline for Passport Application Schedules
Bad news for people, like Tutubi, with expired passports that need to be renewed and replaced with ePassports, the DFA's touted two weeks processing time and scheduling is now two months, meaning if you call DFA hotline now, expect your schedule of personal appearance two months from now.
That's because the "press release" passport application processing time has now doubled from 20 working days to 40 working days.
This is bad for those in a hurry to get new passport applicants or those with limited time to renew their old passports. However, DFA advises they accept special cases of express passport processing if applicants can really justify the rush and for express processing fees as usual without the need for expensive and illegal fixers who for a typical fee of P5000 promise three days release of passports.
For legal and sure passport applications, just call DFA Hotline: 737-1000 or visit Department of Foreign Affairs official website at www.dfa.gov.ph
Getting the services of fixers at DFA-OCA (DFA Macapagal) abets graft and corruption and also illegal, please transact only with legitimate DFA personnel to avoid scammers out to get your hard-earned money.
just a note to those renewing, we just renewed our passports a month ago and from experience, its easier if you personally call / logon the site to get your own schedule. my cousin had hers renewed thru a travel agency and it was doubly difficult for her. we finished in just 1 hour while she took 5 hours to finish the whole process. the reason is that DFA allots more service counters to those applying individually. the travel agency line is long and DFA allotted only 2 counters for them. so imagine the wait period ! for senior citizens, they are always prioritized. best time to get is first batch in the morning :) hope this helps :)
if you are in a rush of getting your passport renewed, you may opt to visit dfa regional offices near you. as for my case, i went all the way to lucena just to get my passport done within the month. if i didn't do it, the earliest appointment date here in manila was already first week of august.