Heavy rains did not prevent Valenzuelano passport applicants from wearing happy faces after they have successfully availed of the yearly mobile passport system brought closer to home by the Human Resource and Management Office (HRMO) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on August 13 at the AVR, Legislative Building, The City Hall.
A total of 500 individuals who arrived at the city hall in family groups were serviced at the joint passporting project by the local government and the DFA, which was supported by the Local Civil Registry, the Information and Communication Technology Office, and the Valenzuela City Police Station.
The mobile passport system is an annual initiative of the HRMO since the tenure of former mayor, now Senator WIN Gatchalian, as part of Valenzuela City’s observance of the Civil Service Month every April. This year, the mobile passport service is scheduled in August because the local government is dependent of the approval and availability of the DFA for the said scheme. Mobile passport services are only scheduled by the DFA on weekends.
DFA Foreign Service Employee Romeo T. Gle commented in an interview that his team was thankful for the discipline employed by the passport applicants and the orderliness maintained by the HRMO throughout the activity. He shared in Filipino, “Sa ibang lugar kasi matatapang ‘yung mga aplikante kapag nare-reject, pero dito [sa Valenzuela] halos lahat sila kumpleto na ang requirements na dala kaya konti lang ang na-reject.”
Gle also shared that he was the one who received the letter from Mayor REX Gatchalian requesting for a satellite office of DFA to be established in Valenzuela City. He said that they will study the feasibility of the proposal because there would be metrics that would have to be met by the satellite office just in case.
Not all local government units in the Philippines consistently apply for DFA’s mobile passport service every year. Only 65, including Valenzuela City, take advantage of the program.
To uphold efficiency at the one-day mobile passport services, HRMO employees conducted text blasting initiative prior the passport processing date, to remind the applicants of their schedule and requirements.
An applicant from Barangay Balangkas, Ms. Marivic Manuel, affirmed that it took her less than an hour to complete her passport application together with her son. She shared, “Pangalawang beses ko nang nag-apply ng passport dito sa city hall kasi mas malapit.”
One must only prepare Php 1,200.00 for the passport application. Pick-up date of passports at The City Hall is scheduled by the HRMO on September 17.