If you have been looking for a guide on how to apply for a passport in Cebu DFA for the first time or you are planning to renew your expired or soon-to-expire passport, this post may come handy for you. I have just processed renewal for my passport, the last time I renewed mine was in Lucena and it was pretty fast. This time since I am in Cebu, I opted to renew in Pacific Mall Mandaue. I processed the renewal without the aid of a travel agency.
Total time spent in processing the passport was 11 hours from 2:55 AM pre-dawn to 1:36 PM in the afternoon if you count the first time I handed my passport to a queue.
**I originally wrote this blog post sometime November but I did not publish this right away because at that time I was disappointed and frustrated with some DFA Cebu staff, and this post was laced with more ranting than info hehe. But since it’s new year today (Happy New Year!!!) I am editing this post to make this an informative post as I can make it rather than a sounding board of my frustrations hehehe. =)
By the way, if you are a Philippine passport holder of the green passport or maroon without the ‘chip logo’ at the front cover, take time to renew your passport before October 31, 2015. If you won’t renew you might face problem at immigration counters in other countries after October 31, 2015.
The latest issued Philippine ePassport with chip logo and barcode sticker at the back
Senior Citizens and Minors Passport Application
If you are a senior citizen, worry not because you don’t have to come early and queue the lines since our law provides special accommodation to expedite your processing time. This also goes true for minors with their parents or guardians. I suggest you visit the DFA at 9 AM and you will be ushered-in even without a priority number. For us regular folks, please understand that both these groups enjoy this special accommodation because it is only rightful.
UPDATE October 2016: New passport and passport renewal are now done VIA APPOINTMENT SYSTEM!!!
Walk-ins are only allowed for special cases (seniors, pregnant woman with medical certificate, government official, minors below 7 years old, pwds, etc.)
Check this post on How to Set-up an Appointment for Passport in DFA website or Requirements to RENEW passport.
First time to apply for a passport, excited!
It was Titus’ first time to apply while for me it was for passport renewal, we got to be ready in case there are international travel opportunities that await us. =) Plus, your passport also serves as your ID which you can use to transact official business with the government etc.
It is very handy to have, so apply for one. 🙂
We were really pumped up that at 2:30 AM we headed to Pacific Mall. Lol, we thought we’d make the first 50 applicants; the reality was that we were closer to the 100Th slot when we listed our names. Hehe.
Requirements First Time Applicants for Philippine Passport
- Have an NSO certified birth certificate. Photocopy this.
- Bring a government ID, you can use the SSS UMID or GSIS or Driver’s License or PRC Card etc. Photocopy your ID front and back.
- Bring at least 2 supporting documents and photocopy it (front and back):
- *Transcript of Records
- * School ID if still a student
- * Company ID
- * Voter’s ID
- * Postal ID
- * BIR ITR
4. Prepare P950 for regular processing fee, you can claim your passport after 25 working days (don’t count the holidays!). If you want expedited or express processing which is 15 working days, you must pay a premium, so instead of P950, you’ll be paying P1,200.
Requirements For Philippine Passport Renewal
- Bring your old passport, photocopy the front page and the back page. One photocopy only.
- Bring a government issued ID same as number 2 option above. Photocopy front and back.
- Bring cash to pay for the processing fee, see #4 above for the amounts you need to prepare.
Guys don’t forget to bring a ballpen too, and yahhh throw in loads of patience. =) Plus extra cash for breakfast and lunch since processing takes a long time if you do it by yourself with no special assistance.
Smile, smile ng konti =)
DFA Cebu Passport Application Tips
If I have to redo everything I will do it this way:
Go to Pacific Mall at 9 PM the previous night to list your name.
At the front of the mall, there is a guard station there with one table. Have your name listed in the mall’s official list. Please note that this list is not the official one of the DFA, this is just to control what I termed as the “good, rule-abiding applicants”.
The guard will check if your requirements are complete and only then will he give you a Pacific Mall priority number. In return, you will give your government ID to the guard. If you lack requirements, you will be asked to come back with the needed documents.
After listing your name in the Pacific Mall list, go home and get some sleep. If you live far from Mandaue, you can wait it out in the mall, there are several benches outside that you can use. Some actually sleep on the hard floor of the terminal building while waiting for morning to come.
At 5:45 AM come back to the mall. At 6 AM the guards will ask everyone who holds a mall priority number to get the official application form. Get yours and fill it up completely.
At 6:30 AM, the guard together with some DFA personnel will ask everyone who holds a mall priority number to line-up sequentially. You will now exchange your mall priority number to the DFA official priority number. Don’t be surprised if your new number jumped more than 10 slots, it’s magic you know. =) You will also hand-in your application form to the guard, the guard then jots down your “new priority number” on your form then you will be advised to wait for 9 AM.
If your house is near, then you can go home to rest and come back again by 9AM. This is when the mall opens up along with the DFA office.
You can find the Department of Foreign Affairs Cebu branch in the 4th floor of Pacific Mall, formerly name Super Metro Mandaue.
Tip: If your DFA official priority number is anywhere from 100 and up, I would recommend for you to come back at 11 AM instead of 9 AM.
If you reside far, you might opt to wait it out outside the mall or in the fastfood chains which opens early. We had breakfast in Chowking at 7:15 AM and stayed there until 9AM. There is also Jollibee, Dimsum Break and Grand Thai resto. Staff of these restaurants I guess are used to applicants dining and waiting in their establishment while the mall is still closed.
Bring a fan; wear light decent clothing because the lobby of DFA Cebu is like taking a trip to the sauna. You will be spending hours and hours in two queues in a non-aircon lobby, it’s really sweltering hot there. Once you get inside their office, queuing becomes more comfortable because they have aircon t.here
Am not sure if this government agency plans to install aircon in the waiting area near the food stalls. Hope they do kasi sobrang init talaga.
At 9 AM the mall will open, the first groups who are allowed entry to the 4th floor of Super Metro, where you can find the office of DFA, are those with pending transactions from previous days, the senior citizens and the minors with parents and guardians. Those who have priority numbers will wait at the 3rd floor. There are seats and benches you can use while waiting for your turn to go up. Walk in applicants will be served last.
The guards will call numbers by priority 1 to 50, then 51 to 100 etc to go up. Before proceeding to the escalator, they will get your DFA priority number and give you back your government ID so you will actually go up to the 4th floor without your DFA number. The guard at the 4th floor will tell you to line-up according to your number, so you have to remember what your DFA number was.
By the way you will be queuing in the “Processing” and “Encoding” department via moving / transferring seats. The system is when one applicant finishes with that phase, everyone will move one seat. When another one finishes, those seated will move one seat again. Repeat until you reach the first seat and then it will be your turn. In the “Cashier” section, you will hand in your application form and let your papers queue for you, the cashier will shout out your name when it’s your turn to pay the processing fee.
Titus finished more or less 30 minutes ahead of me while I finished processing at almost 2 PM. The reason is that I had to go back the line since I forgot to photocopy the back of my government ID. So you should photocopy the front and back of your ID so you don’t slide down in the line okay? =)
The process of applying or renewing passport in the Philippines is actually easy because you hand in the required documents and just follow Step 1, Step 2 to the last step. What can frustrate regular folks like us is the slow moving queue because of “magic” and “insert-insert”. And mind you, these “special applicants” are not senior citizens, nor minors.
I took pics and videos of two applicants I really believe where ‘insertions’, I even interviewed one who suddenly cut into our “seat queuing”, obvious kaayo kay ga move-move baya mi ug seat once someone finishes with the encoding and passport picture taking, tapos kalit ni-abot and ni-insert, nagkara-kara nuon siya’g answer sa akong questions haha but nahhhh I choose not to publish the vids and pics anymore hehe. Positive vibes tayo ngayon! hehe
To you who plan to apply for a passport, good luck! If you are going to Manila any time soon, it might be best to procure passport there, not here in Cebu. Megamall has a DFA office that processes online application and personal appearance is by appointment. It’s more efficient, more orderly, and fairer. In Cebu DFA, things are still manual and no appointment system or online application.
As for me, I thank heavens above that Philippine passport is good for 5 years before you have to renew again. =)
Get your passport as soon as you can and explore the world! ^_^
Happy travels this 2014, 2015 and beyond!!!
See you on the road wherever that may be! ^_^