Tuesday, September 11, 2012

DFA Megamall Passport Application

I had a busy 9/11! This morning, I went to DFA Megamall for passport renewal
then PRC Manila (Professional Regulation Commission) naman in the afternoon to
claim my PRC ID. Whew!

Initially, Me and my toddler had a passport appointment at DFA Aseana for
tomorrow Sept 12. However, just last week I found out from a yahoogroup  (thanks talga
for N@W!) that DFA Megamall is already open so I cancelled tomorrow's Aseana
appointment and scheduled Megamall for today instead. Megamall is convenient
for us because my husband can drop us off on his way to work and can possibly
bring us home around lunchtime as well.

TIME - the earliest time I could get was 10:30am. I overheard some people
before me had a 10am appt and one of the guards also told me that they start at
10am. This is perfect for late risers. Hehe. We arrived just before 10am
(applicants are required to come in 30mins before appointment) and lined up
outside the main entrance door/office. This area is not airconditioned and could
get really hot/humid. Good thing the line was fast moving and I had two fans
with me. One of the employees even told applicants with 11am appt to go to the
mall first and go back at 10:30am bec they had two kids with them.

LOCATION - 7th floor Megamall Building C. We only knew Bldgs A &B. I forgot to
google the exact location and we assumed Bldg C is after or near Bldg B (parang
alphabet lang). We were wrong! haha. We had to walk 20mins from Bldg B back
entrance to Bldg C which is just along EDSA and infront of Bldg A. Hirap talga
magassume. :) Buti na lang we had time to spare and still arrived at DFA just
in time. We rode the elevator (side entrance/not along EDSA) upto 6th floor only
then used the stairs to 7th floor. The lift attendant said hanggang 6th floor
lang daw ang elevator. There's also an entrance / link from Bldg A, 5th floor to
DFA, Bldg C 7th floor. You can use this entrance when the mall is open.

OFFICE - I haven't been to Aseana so I cant compare but the DFA Megamall office
is new, clean, well-lighted, cool (so professional looking), seems spacious vs
other govt offices (although limited space lang). The office is fully air
conditioned. Entrance and Exit doors are separate. The comfort rooms are
located outside the office, near the exit doors thus not airconditioned but new
and clean. Also, there is only one floor here. Maikot mo ung buong office nila
(from verification to encoding) and wala akong nakitang paakyat to another floor
for courtesy lanes. There is also a photocopying machine/service inside the
office. Very near to the processing windows.

PROCESS -
1) The office main entrance guard will check if you're bringing an application
form before he lets you in.

2) Once inside, you will line up at the verification counter (not sure of the
exact name now) immediately after the entrance (right side). There were two
lines during our time. During verification, they look at the application form
schedule, scan the appointment number/bar code located at the top right hand
corner of the application form, then sign on the upper left hand corner where
your appointment date and time is.

BE SURE THAT YOU ARE INDEEED SCHEDULED AT DFA MEGAMALL, NOT AT DFA ASEANA.
There's a different scheduling website for Megamall.
http://www.megamall.passport.com.ph/

You can doublecheck where your appointment is in the Important Reminders List
(page 1) which you better print together with the application form (page 2) in
the confirmation link that they will send to your email. There were at least 3
applicants before us that were asked to proceed to Aseana. Sayang ang time and
effort if hindi pagbigyan tumuloy magapply sa Megamall. If nagkamali kayo, just
cancel the wrong appointment and book the right location.

3) Get your printed queue number from the automated machine which is on the left
side of the verification counter and across the main entrance door. There are
two choices/buttons on the touchscreen. Left button for seniors, pregnant
women, minor, etc. The right button is the regular or passporting (This is the
one I chose because courtesy lanes might have additional cost as some N@Wies
have experienced and doesn't really guarantee that processing will be fast vs
regular applicants).

4) Wait for your number and the window (where you should go to) flash on the
screen in the waiting area infront of the processing windows. When it's your
turn, proceed to your given window and show the number printout, application
form, and supporting requirements. It was around quarter to 11am by the time we
reach this stage.

5) The DFA attendant will ask if rush or regular processing. I chose regular
processing because we don't need the passports urgently. He then proceeded to
fill up the payment form. For comparison, passport will be released on Sept 19
for rush processing and Oct. 2 2pm for the regular processing. The attendant
referred to a schedule beside him when I asked him the dates. Additional P200 or
P250 for rush processing.

6) After all the documents have been approved/signed by the DFA attendant, it
will be returned to you with the payment form. You then proceed to the Payment
window (cashier). There is only one window and no chairs provided here so you're
standing in line. Around 5 people lang ahead of me. Your number printout is
still used here because the cashier will prompt or flash your number on the next
part of the step (Encoding desks).

7) After payment, proceed to the Encoding desks. This is where you submit the
forms/requirements, payment form and have your picture taken/thumbprint scanned.
Thumbprint scan was not done for my toddler. My son was asked to sit on a
cardboard box na pinatong sa chair. It took us five tries because in the first
two shots, my son was goofing around, making faces at the camera. The next two
shots, he couldn't sit still. Haha. Eh ung attendant parang hindi sanay kumuha
ng picture ng bata. Hindi marunong magtyempo. Inaantay nya 5 seconds na
completely still ung anak ko. Duh! Hirap pa kasi hindi stable ung
chair/cardboard. Halos walang tao sa area na eto. And medyo nagkakagulo pa sila
on the number/flash process from the cashier.

8) You will be asked to check your basic information on their computer screen
(name, address, birthdate, birthplace, civil status, name of parents and spouse
(if applicable).

9) Once information is confirmed correct and picture/signature/thumbprints
taken, the payment form is returned to you and this serves as the "claim" stub.

10) If you decide to have your passports couriered to you, their area is the
last stop in the office, near the exit doors. I decided to claim personally this
time.

Btw, I did not see any applicant wearing T-shirt/jeans lang, although hindi
naman bawal ang T-shirt based on their website. I remember dati, they require
collared shirt, etc so I think the applicants (me included) wanted to be on the
safe side. Hehe.

Our appointment is 10:30am, we finished at 11:15am. All in all, the process
took 1hour and 15mins from the time we got there at 10am. They just recently
opened which could account for fewer applicants.

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