DFA NCR South (Alabang Town Center)
4th Floor of Metro in Alabang Town Center
Alabang-Zapote Road, Muntinlupa City
Tel No: 551-1051
The hubby, the Princess and I recently had our passports renewed, and we also got the Baby Ball his very first passport! We were pleasantly surprised with our experience at DFA in Alabang. Here’s a walkthrough of our DFA experience this year.
It’s such a blessing that there’s now a DFA office that’s closer to where we live than the one in Macapagal near MOA. That’s where we usually get our passports, and where we got the Princess’ first passport in 2012. It was a significantly better experience this time around.
From Werriam-Webster: “A passport is a formal document issued by an authorized official of a country to one of its citizens that is usually necessary for exit from and reentry into the country, that allows the citizen to travel in a foreign country in accordance with visa requirements, and that requests protection for the citizen while abroad”.
- Setting the Appointment
It’s relatively easy but can be daunting if you’re using the online appointment system for the first time. Best to read through DFA’s process for passport renewal (existing passport holders) and application (for aspiring first-time passport holders) at the website: https://www.passport.gov.ph.
From the site, the gist of the process is as follows:
When you’ve read through the application process, go the passport appointment site: https://www.passport.gov.ph/appointment when you’re ready with your good internet connection, information you need to encode, and your chosen DFA Office site. You can opt to set an appointment for just yourself, or set a group appointment for you and others. Note that you’ll only see the available times for your appointment when you start this process.
Once you choose your date and time slot, you’ll need to finish the process in 15 minutes, or else the slot is released and you’ll have to start it all over again. So, be sure to have the needed information ready so you can encode.
Most of the information is basic (name, mobile number, birthdate, etc.), but some things you might still need to gather for each applicant before starting the appointment process are:
- Mother’s Complete Maiden Name, Father’s and Spouse’s complete names
- Who to contact in case of emergencies (Person’s Name and Phone Number)
- Existing Expiring Passport (If for renewal – should be on-hand for the info you need)
Once the appointment is set, the system will send an email to your indicated email address asking you to confirm your appointment. Note that if you do not confirm within 120 hours, your provisional appointment will be automatically cancelled to give way to other applications.
Once you’ve confirmed, you’ll again receive an email with a link to your confirmed appointment form. Click on the link to access the form, and remember to print the confirmed appointment form. You’ll need to bring this form with you to the DFA as proof that you have an appointment.
- Preparing the Required Documents
After setting your appointment, make sure you have all the required documents ready.
You can check the required documents for New Applications here: https://www.passport.gov.ph/requirements/new-application
And those for passport renewals here: https://www.passport.gov.ph/requirements/passport-renewal
You’ll need to bring these with you on your appointment date.
- Arriving at DFA Metro, Alabang Town Center
We chose the first slot (10am). If you arrive before 10am, you’ll be asked to wait in the assembly area located at B1 (Basement 1 – Metro Supermarket Level) of Alabang Town Center. There are very few chairs, so be ready to stand in line.
However, the supermarket and a few food stalls are already open, so you can buy food in case you get hungry. There’s even a Starbucks there (not right in the assembly area, but a few feet away) if you need your morning caffeine fix.
There are also signboards signifying the designated sections where you should fall in line.
A little after 10am, a DFA Personnel will appear and ask everyone to go up to the 4th Floor where the DFA Office is. You’ll need to stay in line going up the escalators. If you have Seniors with you, I suggest that they just take the elevator while you stay in line for them and just meet them on the 4th Floor.
- Passport Application and Renewal Processing inside DFA
Once you get inside the DFA, the process is relatively quick. The space is relatively small but well-utilized, and we were always assisted promptly by the guards and DFA Personnel. Also, I appreciate that this smaller space means that everything’s there on one floor and we won’t have to go up and down floors for the next steps (which was our experience before at the Main DFA Branch in Macapagal!).
I’ll do a run-down of the steps we experienced at DFA:
Step 1: Validation. You’ll first be directed to the validating counter so they can validate your appointment and documents. After this, you can then proceed to the Processing Section where a guard will direct you to next available window/processing staff.
Step 2: Processing and Assessment. You’ll need to submit the documents, which they’ll again check and assess for payment. When everything is in order, they’ll ask you if you prefer rush processing (7 working days), or regular processing (15 working days). We weren’t in a hurry so we opted for regular processing.
They returned the original copies of our documents and just kept some of the photocopies. They also cancelled our expiring passports, punched a hole in them, and returned them to us. So anyway, if everything’s in order, they’ll give you a form to give to the cashier for payment.
Step 3: Payment and Enrollment. My hubby presented our assessment forms to the cashier and paid for the processing fee. As of this writing, regular processing costs Php950 and express processing costs Php1,200. I’m not sure if credit card is allowed, but we paid in cash. He was then issued an Official Receipt and then was told to proceed to the encoding section.
Step 4: Encoding and Picture-Taking. After payment, you give your receipt and documents to the staff at the Encoding section. They’ll enter the details for your new passport and ask you to verify. You’ll also get your picture taken, your fingerprints taken, and will need to encode your signature into the system for your passport.
Step 5: Courier Service. We opted to have the passports delivered so we paid Php150 per passport. They’ll tell you the expected delivery day and ask who’ll receive your passports.
Some other things you might find useful:
- Bring the original and a photocoy of your government-issued docs (e.g., Marriage Certificate, Birth Certificate). There’s a photocopier inside, but when you have kids with you, you just want to finish in the quickest possible time. Anyway, they’ll return what they don’t need after processing.
- Have all your documents ready to show the guard at the entrance to the DFA Office. For group appointments, have all the documents per person grouped together, appointment form first up.
- I’ve spoken to a friend who got the 5pm slot, and I think the first appointment slot (10am) has a longer line than the last slot (5pm) slot, probably because most would want to get it done and over with first thing on appointment day. When we got there at 9:10am, the line in the assembly area was snaking all over. Ang daming tao!
- [Edit on January 9, 2018: As of my last visit to the DFA passport appointment, this is the popup message:“NO APPOINTMENT IS NEEDED for the following:1. Senior Citizen with Senior Citizen ID
2. Person with Disability (PWDs) with PWD ID or visible disability
3. Solo Parent with Valid Solo Parent ID
4. Pregnant women with medical certificate
5. Minors seven (7) years old and below
You may avail of the PRIORITY LANE at DFA Aseana or at any DFA Satellite Office or Regional Consular Office to apply for your passport.”
- Only those with appointments will be allowed inside the DFA. Unless you are the designated companion of a minor or PWD, you will be asked to wait outside the DFA office.
- No need to bring photos, as they’ll take your passport picture at the Encoding section. Just wear smart casual clothes (no sandos, shorts or slippers). No need for collared shirts or blazers; these won’t be seen in your photo anyway.
- For the females, don’t wear earrings anymore since they’ll ask you to take it off for the photo. Also, I suggest that you don’t wear heavy makeup since they’ll want you to look “natural” in the photo.
- Better if you don’t have big bags or are carrying a lot of things inside the DFA. It’s relatively small and the space is used very efficiently, so moving around with kids and big diaper bags can be a hassle.
- For the government-issued documents (Birth Cert, Marriage Cert, etc.), the site says that it should be “issued by the PSA (Philippine Statistics Authority)”. I actually have documents stamped NSO (National Statistics Office) while some are stamped PSA (Philippine Statistics Authority), depending on when I got them. I didn’t have a problem in DFA Metro Alabang with any of our documents, but I heard from some that they were required the PSA-stamped documents and not the NSO-stamped ones (PSA was formed in 2013/2014). Anyway, as I said, I didn’t have any problem with my NSO-stamped documents, but best to verify with your chosen DFA Office.
And that’s it! I’ve got to say this: nakakapagod, but buti nalang the kids were with us! We were always assisted, and were allowed to queue up in the Priority Lane pa! I was actually surprised that the Hubby and I, the Princess, and Baby Ball were done in about 40 minutes! Not bad, diba? Kudos to the DFA Alabang management and personnel for a good experience.