Sep 202014

MANILA, Philippines—An association of recruitment companies has opposed the removal of the OFW Express Lane for passport services at the Department of Foreign Affairs, saying the unreasonable delay in the release of passports would affect the deployment of thousands of Filipino workers overseas.

FILE Photo

FILE Photo

The group had written Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, asking him to bring back the special lane and take into consideration the situation of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Alfredo Palmiery, president of the Federation of Manpower Exporters Inc., said the processing of OFW passport applications would now take as long as 45 days.

“If this is not immediately addressed, many of our OFWs are bound to lose confirmed job contracts, thereby depriving them of job and income opportunities,” Palmiery said in the letter to Del Rosario.

He noted that most employers of OFWs did not like to wait long for their workers and often canceled job contracts already offered.

Palmiery said OFWs were willing to pay an “expediting” fee if the special lane is restored.

He said the DFA’s Office of Consular Affairs removed the special lane four months ago, taking the recruitment industry by surprise.

The express lane expedites the release of new passports and passport renewals in 15 regular working days. Niña P. Calleja



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