I lost my passport a couple of months ago. I don’t know what I did with it but I can’t find it anywhere. I even asked my mom and the hubby to try to find it since they’re usually more thorough than me when it comes to these things. When my mom told me that she can’t find it anywhere in my room I knew that that was it for me. If my mom can’t find it, then no one can…
We had to cancel a trip that we were planning last December for our anniversary because of it. I wanted to continue to look for it for a few more months but I just changed employers and a passport is a requirement. Hence, I had no choice but to apply for a new one and declare the old one “officially lost”.
Like any normal person would, I went to Google to check what are required for applying if the passport was lost. DFA’s website was easily accessible and informative enough.
Since my passport was still valid, I needed an Affidavit of Loss and a Police Report so I went to the Pasay City Hall and got myself both documents. Affidavit of Loss is pretty common and can easily be acquired. However, it was my first time to file for a Police Report for anything. Going to the police station was pretty daunting. I was initially afraid of what I’ll see inside but nothing major happened at all. I inquired and handed my Affidavit of Loss to the officer and he went on to type the details on his computer, asked me to confirm the information, printed it out and signed. And that was it…
Since I was already at the Police Station, I was hoping to get a Police Clearance to add to my official documents but I wasn’t allowed inside because I was wearing a sleeveless shirt. The officer told me to go home, change and come back, which I never did… Too much hassle. FYI, the Police Clearance costs 75PHP at the Pasay Police Station and they won’t allow entry of women wearing sleeveless tops, shorts and short skirts.
So I got two of the main documents I needed. The rest are pretty generic which I mostly already have so I went back to the same page with the details about the lost passport to confirm that I’m all set and then went ahead and set an appointment for Jan 2, 2014 at 11AM. Before choosing the date and time, you will be asked to choose among the DFA’s satellite offices. The ASEANA branch was nearer our place but I wasn’t familiar with the actual branch name and address so I didn’t know. The only place familiar for me was Megamall so I went ahead and chose that one.
You will then be taken to a page that you will need to fill-up. This is basically the application form that you will later on need to print. Just enter all the details required and then click on Submit.
Afterwards, you can select your preferred schedule. You will receive an email with a link which you will have to click to view the form and confirm your appointment. Print out a copy of the form as you will need to present this at the DFA branch.
It was my first time at Megamall-DFA and I haven’t been to Megamall in quite a while so I wasn’t familiar with the place. DFA is located at the 7th floor of Building C. It’s the new building up front near the bus stops. I don’t know exactly what time they open but we arrived before 10AM which was quite early for my schedule and there was already a long line in front of the building going to the elevators. I don’t think they were open yet at the time since the line only started moving after 10AM. We got up to the 7th floor at around 10:30AM. But even then, I was told that I’m still too early and I wasn’t allowed to fall in line so I should just come back. That’s when we found out that Megamall A’s 5th floor is connected to Megamall C 7th floor and we didn’t have to fall in line for the elevators after all. We could’ve just went inside Megamall when it opened and used the elevators/escalators there. Toinks!
I went back just before 11AM, got my schedule verified and I was given a number. There was already a number of people waiting inside so I was surprised when my number flashed at the board in just less than five minutes… Apparently, it was for a good reason… All the guy did at the counter is verify my form, affidavit of loss and the police report. Then, he proceeded to fill up a paper advising that Verification has been done and I should go straight to Window 22. He proceeded to explain to me that Lost Passports are only processed in their main office at ASEANA, Macapagal and I can go to the branch whenever I want. Sigh…
RANT: Basically, I wasted all my time and effort at Megamall. If Lost Passports were only processed in ASEANA, then this information should have been available in the DFA Website. For Lost Passports, they shouldn’t allow people to “choose” other branches. And there should be a notification on the website with this information, specifically for the page for Lost Passports. Grrrr….
So I had no choice but to go to ASEANA. When I asked the guards there about Window 22, I was told that Window 22 is now Window 2 and I should enter Gate 1. There was no line at Window 2 (CRD) and the lady at the counter asked me for my Affidavit of Lost and Police Report. She asked me for a second copy which I didn’t have so I had to have them photocopied. When I got back, she stamped both copies with a date, kept the originals and told me that there’s a 15-day clearing for lost passports (which was stated at the DFA website). So, she handed me the 2nd copy of the documents with a stamp for Jan-17 and told me to go back to Window 2 on the 17th so she can give me my form back. That’s the only time I can have my passport processed… 😦 I initially thought that 15-day clearing means additional 15 days before the releasing of the passport. But apparently, I have to wait 15 days, go back to DFA-ASEANA and that’s the only time they can start processing my passport.
RANT Continuation: So you see how much of a waste of time that was. I went to Megamall only to be told to go to ASEANA and then when I got there, they just told me to go back after 15 days. I only spent around 5 minutes in both branches and didn’t really achieve anything.
That was a bit of a set back for me since I was starting my new job on the 6th and I don’t have any leaves to use yet. It’s a great thing that my new manager is understanding and our time is flexible…
So on the 17th, I went back to DFA around 8AM and proceeded to Window 2 where there were about 6 or 7 other people already in line. Apparently, I’m not the only one stupid enough to lose their passport so that’s a relief. I gave my 2nd copy of Affidavit with the stamp to the lady and she handed me back the originals with the form. And then she asked me to proceed to the line for Step 1 where verification of the documents happen.
The line for step 1 was quite long but it moves really fast. Before I knew it, I was in one of the counters presenting my documents. The website said I needed my NSO birth ceritificate, 1 valid ID and 3 other additional documents but the lady at the counter only asked for my NSO birth ceritificate, NSO marriage certificate and a valid ID (photocopy). I’m not complaining but I wish I knew so I didn’t have to get an NBI clearance for the passport application. The lady gave me a receipt with the total amount of what I have to pay.
Step 2 is the payment so you just have to fall in line (it was a fast line), prepare the money and the receipt.
Regular passport: 950.00PHP
Express passport: 1,200.00PHP
Lost E-Passport: 350.00PHP
Since I wasn’t in a hurry to get my passport, I opted for the regular processing and paid a total of 1,300.00PHP.
Step 3 is the encoding and that’s where the long wait really happens. I got No.1169 and when I checked the board for the number being served at the time, it was only around 1050. There was more than 70 counters available for the encoding but it doesn’t seem like ALL of them are being used at the same time so it was still quite a long wait. Probably an hour for me. There’s a TV showing “Just for Laughs” episodes which became the entertainment of a lot of people waiting there. Including me… 😛
When my number finally flashed on the board, I got my details encoded, my thumbmarks, signature and photo taken digitally and that’s that… Passport will be released on Feb-10.
Applicants can also opt to have their passports delivered to their homes so they wouldn’t have to go back to get the passports. Delivery costs 120.00PHP and expected delivery date will be the day after the release date. If you won’t be home to receive the passport, make sure to leave an Authorization Form and a valid ID to whoever will accept the passport on your behalf. Otherwise, the courier won’t release it.
UPDATE: If you’re following me on Instagram, then you’d know that I got my passport. My mom said it was delivered last Saturday (Feb-8) which makes it a few days earlier than expected. I haven’t made an authorisation letter at the time yet but the delivery guy gave it to my mom anyways. Additionally, he didn’t ask my mom for any ID. She just said that I’m her daughter and the passport was given to her.