Applying for a Philippine passport at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in Pasay City is really some sort of experience. I still couldn’t believe a colony of fixers is literally lying in wait to all unwary passport applicants. Thankfully, my girlfriend warned me about fixers and she insisted that I must go directly inside DFA and ignore them.
I went to the DFA last Thursday to apply for a passport. I went down at the LRT Libertad Station and rode a DFA bound tricycle there. The moment I went down the tricycle, hordes of fixers surrounded me and tried to pull me to their stalls. The fixers offered application forms, passport holders, and rush ID picture service. Another fixer tried to trick me by pulling me to stall just beside the DFA entrance gate. He said that I should get a number slip first before I can enter the DFA. I did not believe him and went directly to the guard and asked him what I need to do to apply for a passport. The guard promptly gave me an application form for free and let me in.
The passport application inside the DFA is fast and organized. The only problem is the fixers outside DFA. One applicant was tricked into buying an application form for 100 pesos. The applicant became angry when he discovered that the application form is just given without any fee. He asked the guard to catch the fixer but the guard just said that they do not have the jurisdiction outside the DFA.
The guard is right. The Pasay City government is responsible for any activities outside of DFA. Many people had been tricked by these fixers since many of them are wearing fake DFA employee IDs. Even the tricycle drivers are working with the fixers because they point the applicants to the stalls and tell them that those are the right place to get the application form.
The Pasay City police should stop acting blind and capture all the fixers outside DFA. What are they doing? Or is it possible that they also receive kickbacks from those fixers. The mayor of Pasay City should stop being inutile and do something about it.
May this serve as a warning to all passport applicants out there. NEVER EVER BELIEVE ANYONE OUTSIDE THE DFA. Always think that no DFA employee transact official business outside of the DFA office. ALL TRANSACTIONS ARE DONE INSIDE THE DFA. Another thing is that facilities, like shops for the Passport Picture, are available inside DFA. It is better to avail these facilities inside the DFA so as to avoid the fixers outside of DFA.