*Please refer to my new post for the Passport Renewal info.
Some time this month, I accompanied my Dad and Brother for their New Passport Application. We arrived at the Building C of SM Megamall (bus stop) at 9am, an hour earlier from our schedule. DFA SM Megamall’s schedule is from 10:00am-4:00pm. I scheduled their appointment one month before the appearance day. It was a good thing that I scheduled earlier because as of now, upon checking the DFA SM Megamall appointment site, the earliest you can schedule is first week of July. Whew! I really wanted to finish the application before the school year starts.
I was surprised that many people were already there. Maybe about 15 people in line. Then more people kept on coming. We were only allowed to go to the office which is located at the 7th floor at 10am. Luckily, we were among the first few people who were there.
Tip: If you came in late and there’s a long queue waiting at the elevator, go inside the mall and proceed to the 5th floor of building A. From there, you can use the stairs going to the DFA office. No need to wait for the elevator and the queue.
Make sure to bring the appointment checklist of your application. It is where you will find your appointment date and time. We presented our appointment to the guard at the door then he directed us to the “Attendance Section”, where they are scanning the application forms to confirm the schedule. The person in-charge will get the appointment form and return the application. Then proceed directly to the queuing machine to get your number. Make sure to select the appropriate button (I think I remember seeing New Passport and Renewal. There are 2 more buttons but I forgot what they are. ;)).
After getting your number, proceed to the Processing Section. Make sure to look at the queuing board to check on the number they are currently servicing. Only few people were there at that time so there were many vacant seats. After 5 minutes, my Brother and Dad’s numbers were called. We just presented the application form, original NBI clearance, NSO birth certificate (original and photocopy), and 1 valid ID (original and photocopy). Since my Brother is still a student, he presented his school ID while my Dad presented his unified ID. The staff just re-checked the information, then asked them to sign the application form. (Yes, please do not sign the application form yet. Wait for the DFA staff to ask you to sign it.) The staff also notified us that one of their passport printing machines was not working so he made sure that we do not have a flight in the next few weeks. Then he asked if we are going to pay the regular or rushed processing fee. We chose the regular processing. Wait for the staff to give you the payment form, your application form and documents and your queue number.
For First time passport applicants:
- Regular Processing (15 working days): Php950.00
- Express Processing (7 working days): Php1,200.00
Please see complete list of Passport Fees here.
Please see complete list of Requirements here.
We were in the Processing Section for just about 5 minutes. That was really fast. I think it pays to read and research about passport processing to avoid delays. Some people were there for a long time because they had to photocopy some of their requirements. (Note: If you were not able to photocopy your requirements, there is a Photocopying Section just at the back of the waiting area of the Processing Section. I am not sure how much, though. And of course, you also have to fall in line there.)
After getting your processed requirements, proceed to the Payment Section. Present the payment form and your payment. After paying, proceed directly to the Encoding Section. There were also very few people in the Encoding section, perhaps just 1/4 of the waiting area was covered. After a few minutes, my Dad and Brother were called. The DFA staff took their biometrics - photo and finger prints. They also got their electronic signatures (which my Dad had a hard time because he cannot see the signature. Haha!).
Then the staff asked them to re-check the information especially the spelling to avoid processing delay or re-application. After that, the payment receipts were returned with the stamped Releasing date. Before leaving the office, we went to the Releasing Section to ask about their rules. The guard told me that only immediate family members can pick up the passport. I just have to bring an authorization letter (and maybe 1 ID).
The passport processing was really fast. We were at the DFA office for less than 1 hr. It was also very relaxing inside because of many available seats and good air condition.
The DFA SM Megamall is located at 7th Floor SM Megamall Building C, EDSA corner J. Vargas Avenue, Mandaluyong City.
On June 21, I claimed my Dad’s passport at the Releasing Section of DFA SM Megamall. I just presented the receipt and my Dad’s authorization letter. It only took me 2 minutes to get his passport. However, on June 24 when I claimed my Brother’s passport, the guy in-charge of Window 1 asked for a photocopy of my ID as well as the receipt and authorization letter. I was surprised because the guard during our appointment date and the staff who gave my Dad’s passport did not ask for my ID. I had to fall in line at the photocopier at the Passport Processing section for a couple of minutes and the price per page is P3.00. Anyway, I told the guy that I was disappointed because my time was wasted and that government offices should have a standard. He cannot just tell me that it differs from one staff to another. Good thing my office is just a couple of minutes away.