Members of the Filipino community rushed over to the JP Center in Garapan last week to get new copies of their Philippine passports, which were recently renewed.
The four-day event distributed passports on Friday, Monday, and Tuesday from 5pm to 8pm and 1pm to 6pm on Saturday, resulting in 700 passports being successfully delivered to their owners.
Glicerio Arago, the Philippines’ honorary consul to the CNMI, said, “I’m really happy about the outcome. We tried our best to make everything go as smoothly as possible. People need to understand that those at the site are just volunteers so they have to be a little more patient.”
The new passports given out were for those who renewed their expiring passports last October at the Kristo Rai Parish. People had to bring their old passports and their receipt. Some even came in, hoping their November renewals would be available.
Annamae Adaza, a volunteer from the office of the honorary consul, said, “It was fast, some of them were really excited. Even though we informed the public that this was for those who renewed in October, people from last month still came to see if they were included. Even though we advertised it on the radio, television, and newspaper, people would still call just to make sure.”
“We feel really happy and the people are so excited about the new design,” Adaza said.
The new passports will be valid for five years instead of 10. The possibility of its extension was a suggestion by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Those who missed out on the four-day distribution can still pick up their passports at the TSL Plaza in Garapan. For more information call Mel Santos at 233-6293 or Adaza at 483-5237. (Michael T. Santos)