Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Passport renewal at DFA satellite office at Ali Mall, Cubao

your picture and signature will be encoded on this section
I was glad upon learning that I could renew my passport at DFA satellite office at 2nd floor of Ali Mall in Cubao, Quezon City. It means I don't have to travel as far as DFA Pasay or fall in long queue at DFA office in POEA. My old passport was in fact valid until 2017 but I had only 2 blank pages remaining and my work visa would be pasted eventually on one of these two remaining pages after a few weeks thus I had no option but to have a new passport with me when I go back to work on January. Moreover, my wife and I would be in Bangkok on 2nd of January for business trip hence the necessity of a new passport.

I booked an appointment for passport renewal at DFA Ali Mall as early as October. I printed the form and waited for my appointment day on 15th of December. Fortunately, I was able to grab a slot on that day; my passport would be released on 29th of December which was the last working day for government offices in 2014. Otherwise I would be forced to wait until 2015 to have my passport renewed due to New Year holidays.

If by chance any untoward event happens during my passport renewal then chances are my wife and I wouldn't be able to leave on 2nd of January since I won't be able to use a punched passport to travel abroad. 

In addition, the whole family was on holiday trip in Baguio City from Christmas day until 29th of December. Because of this, we had no option but to leave our hotel in Baguio as early as 9:30 am so I could claim my passport before DFA Ali Mall closes at 7 pm; DFA Ali Mall follows mall's normal operating time.

The only consolation I got was the efficiency of DFA Ali Mall staff including the guards; it took me almost three hours to complete the entire process. My appointment was at 11:00 am but due to Christmas traffic I arrived at half past eleven. The security guard nonetheless allowed me to enter immediately upon seeing my appointment time on my printed passport renewal form. He beckoned me to proceed immediately to registration desk for initial inspection of my documents where a tiny stub was attached after registering on the logbook.

There are three steps to follow when renewing your passport.

First step is the receiving section. The receiving staff will inspect all your documents and enter your data on their database. The queue is quite long depending on the number of receiving staff on duty. Once you have completed this procedure then you are on your way on having your passport renewed.

The second step is payment section or cashier. Due to fast transaction the queue here is usually a bit shorter compare to receiving and encoding sections. I paid 1,200 pesos for express processing (7 working days) since I need my passport ASAP. However, if you are not in a hurry you can avail their regular processing (15 working days) for 950 pesos.

After the second step don't leave the place yet. You need to have your picture and signature encoded; another long queue. After encoding your picture and signature the staff would ask you to inspect a computer print-out showing your personal details. Ensure that there is no error on the print-out or else it would be more tedious to correct an error on your personal detail once your passport has been issued.

When you have completed these three steps then you have an option to avail their express delivery service by a private courier. You can pay 120 pesos at the nearby desk to avail this service. In my case, I opted to collect my passport personally.

Moreover, there is a separate queue for senior citizens, pregnant ladies and persons with disability.

Thanks to newly opened TPLEX, our travel time from Baguio to Manila was reduced by two hours. Instead of going directly to Ali Mall, I dropped the kids in our home because I forgot to bring the claim stub given to me. Another pain in the ass mistake on my part but I was able to arrive at DFA Ali Mall with plenty of time to spare.

drop your claim stub in a small box then wait for your name to be called

The releasing and authentication section is located beside the passport processing area though it has a separate door. Simply drop your claim stub at the small carton and wait for your name to be called. Once you have received your passport check for any error then sign at the log book. It took me less than an hour to claim my new passport.

By the way, I heard that some persons would fall in line in lieu of other late-arriving applicants thus you have to remember the face of the person in front of you to prevent others from jumping the queue. Also, toilet is located at the lower floor; you may use the escalator at nearby food court. You can leave your queue but inform the person beside you to reserve your seat whenever the queue moves.

For more details visit their website: DFA Ali Mall - Passport

Update as of September 9, 2017:

My eldest son renewed his passport this afternoon. His appointment was 2 pm but was allowed to enter the DFA office at 1 pm.

The entire passport renewal process took 1.5 hours only; one hour spent at the queue at evaluation counter. He submitted photocopy of his passport pages 1 and 2 only, No need for birth certificate according to him. However, be aware that his old passport was already machine readable (with sim logo at the front).

I asked the lady guard about their office hours, she replied that passport processing would close once all the applicants for that day have completed their applications. She added that only the passport releasing has fixed operating hours which is from 12 pm to 5 pm.