How to Get Easy Philippine Passport Appointment through the Courtesy Lane

Philippine Passport

Getting Philippine passport quickly is not that easy. The first reason is that getting a good schedule for passport application or renewal is difficult because the quota for each day is easily filled up. The second reason is that the lines to various steps of the passport application or renewal are very long.

One way to bypass the scheduling hassle and the long lines is to apply for passport application or renewal via the Courtesy Lane.

So if you are

1. a regular government employee
2. an immediate family member (spouse, child, parent) of a government employee
3. a retired regular government employee
4. a senior citizen
5. a person with disability
6. a solo-parent 
7. a minor child of a solo-parent
8. a pregnant woman
9. a seven-year old minor
10. a parent or minor sibling of the seven-year old minor. 
11. an OFW

...then you are in luck because you can use the Courtesy Lane.

I personally experienced the Courtesy Lane at the DFA Consular Affairs Office in Pasay when I recently renewed my passport. I did not set any appointment but I just went to the DFA Consular Affairs Office in the morning.

Take note that the courtesy lane only accepts passport application in the morning and closes in the afternoon.

The Courtesy Lane is located at the second floor of the DFA Consular Office. Here are the steps for passport application and renewal in the Courtesy Lane at the DFA Consular Office:

Step 1: Checking of Documents

The clerks at the entrance of the Courtesy Lane office will check if you complete documents for passport application or renewal.

The requirements for Philippine passport application are the following:

1. Accomplished Application Form, which is downloadable at the DFA website.
2. Original and photocopy of Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Authenticated Birth Certificate on Security Paper.
3. Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Authenticated Marriage Contract on Security Paper or Report of Marriage for married females who are using their spouse's last name. Original and photocopy of Local Civil Registrar Copy of marriage certificate is not clear or cannot be read. If the married female opts to retain maiden name, the marriage contract is not required.
4. Any of the following acceptable IDs with one (1) photocopy. 

The requirements for Philippine passport renewal are the following:

1. Accomplished Application Form, which is downloadable at the DFA website.
2. Current Philippine ePassport or expired Philippine passport with photocopy of data page
3. Original PSA authenticated documents that will support the change of name, such as, Marriage Contract, Annotated Birth Certificate, Annotated Marriage Contract to show annulment/divorce/court ordered instruction, and Death Certificate of Spouse.

You will be given a queue number If your documentary requirements are complete then you can enter the Consular Lane office. 

Step 2: Document Processing

A consular officer will asses your application. This is when you will be asked if you want to expedite your passport application renewal.

Step 3: Data Capture

This is the step where a consular officer will encode your personal information and take your fingerprint and photo. Check carefully if the information that the consular officer encoded is correct because an incorrect information will appear on your passport. 

Step 4: Payment

This is when you will pay the necessary fees fir passport application and renewal. The passport fee is 950 pesos. If you wish to expedite the process then you have to pay 1,200 pesos.

Make sure that you will not lose your receipt because you will use this when claiming your passport. 

Step 5: Passport Pick-up

There is an option to have your new passport delivered to your home or workplace. I, however, opted to just get my new passport in the Consular Affairs Office on the appointed date.

There were no queue and it was quick. I just handed out to the the consular officer my receipt and then I got my passport in less then 10 minutes.

Adding all the time I spent during every step, I can say that I only spent less than 45 minutes transacting with DFA Consular Affairs Office. That was quick and I commend the DFA for this.

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Do you want to know what countries to visit that doesn't need a visa? Read my post 2019 List of No Visa Country for Filipinos

Let's Go to Baguio (Part 11): Our Family Tour Finale in Botanical Garden

Our Baguio Tour Finale in Botanical Garden

We ended our two-day family tour of Baguio City by visiting the greenest and most forested park of the city. This park is none other than the Botanical Garden.

We went to Botanical Garden after our visit to Wright Park and the Mansion House. Going to the garden is easy since we just rode a jeepney to Botanical Garden from Wright park. We only paid the minimum fare.

We were welcomed by these old ladies in their traditional garb.

Baguio Botanical Garden with lola Igorotas

Taking any photo with these lolas has a fee. So, I did not take any selfie with them but just contented myself in taking their photo discreetly.

Other visitors had their selfies taken with the lolas. And the background of the photo is the “Botanical Garden” sign that showcases the various rituals of the Igorot people.

There's no entrance fee in Baguio Botanical Garden. 

Schedule of Baguio Botanical Garden

Baguio Botanical Garden is open daily from 6 AM until 6 PM only.

The Garden of Many Names

Burnham Plan of Baguio City
Burnham Plan of Baguio as redrawn in the Baguio City Comprehensive Land Use Plan. The big green space at right is the Botanical Garden. The other big green space in the map is the Burnham Park.

The Baguio Botanical Garden was originally envisioned by Daniel Burnham and was included in the original plan of Baguio City. The patch of greens was named as Botanical Garden during the American Period. Since then, the garden had numerous name changes throughout its history.

In the 1970s, the park was called Baguio City Zoological and Botanical Garden because it hosted animals during that period.

During the reign of the president-dictator Ferdinand Marcos, the park was renamed as Imelda Park after his wife and first lady Imelda Marcos. After martial law, the park’s name reverted to Botanical Garden. The garden was again renamed as Centennial Park in 2009 as part of the Baguio City's celebration of its centenary.

Some visitors and residents of Baguio also refer to the Botanical Garden as Igorot Village because of the many huts inside the park.

Our Baguio Botanical Garden Experience

Upon entering Botanical Garden, we were welcomed by the scene of big bronze statues of men working together. This artwork harks back to the creation of Baguio as the garden city of the Cordilleras.

The Builders by Ben-Hur Villanueva in Baguio Botanical Garden

The statue was created by Filipino master sculptor Ben-Hur Villanueva and aptly named as “The Builders”. The artwork serves as a remembrance for the early settlers who worked together to build Baguio City. The five statues represent the Igorots, the lowlanders, the Americans, the Japanese, and the Chinese.

Looking down the pond in Baguio Botanical Garden

Our Little Ones, just like what they did in other Baguio's public parks, ran round and round in the Botanical Garden. They were amazed by the greens that surrounded them.

My wife, on the other hand, was amazed of this green tunnel:

Green arch in Baguio Botanical Garden

This is a perfect spot for selfies. 

As part of the city's centenary celebration, the city government of Baguio requested its sister cities to sponsor various sceneries inside the park. The result are various spots in Botanical Park that came from around the world, like this replica of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Golden Gate Bridge in Baguio Botanical Garden

I guess this replica was sponsored by Long Beach (California), which is one of Baguio's sister city in the USA. 

There are other scenes that our children liked in Botanical Garden, such as these swans.

Swans in Baguio Botanical Garden

This is a perfect photo spot for couples.

Our favorite scene in Botanical Garden is the life-size statue of a family of elephants. 

Elephant family in Baguio Botanical Garden

The elephant statues are so realistic that my daughter Samantha was so afraid to go near it. 

Almost real elephant in Baguio Botanical Garden

The elephant statues were erected in 2017 to commemorate the 70 years of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Thailand. The landmark was realized through the collaboration between Royal Thai Embassy, City Government of Baguio, Philippine-Thai Cultural Organization, and Siam Cement Group.

Siam Cement Group elephant in Baguio Botanical Garden

The Thai government commissioned three Thai artists: Somphong Boonthip, Prasan Prasatketkam and Nitithivat Khantharankha; to create the elephant statues.

Thai elephant in Baguio Botanical Garden

The elephant statues is the highlight of our visit to Botanical Garden. We allowed our children some time to marvel at this landmark. It gave them a feeling that they are touching real elephants.

Elephant in Baguio Botanical Garden

Near the entrance to Baguio Botanical Garden are shops that sell souvenirs, food, and plants. We had a quick look around the place but My Beloved Wife did not buy any. She already got some plants from a shop at Baguio Cathedral.

Souvenirs for Sale in Baguio Botanical Garden

We visited four public parks during our two-day sojourn around Baguio City. I can say that Baguio Botanical Garden is the second best Baguio public park. The top 1, of course, is Burnham Park. The top 3 is Wright Park. The worst is Mines View Park, which is jokingly called "No Mines,  No View" Park.

If you are planning your tour around Baguio, I highly recommend that you include Botanical Garden in your itinerary.

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Baguio City Land Use Plan by Baguio City Government
Ben-Hur’s Profile in Arko ni Apo