About 800 Filipino citizens on Saipan were served yesterday at the Kristo Rai Parish Social Hall during the year’s first consular outreach of the Philippine Consulate General in Agana, Guam.
The first day of the outreach program yesterday yielded about 800 Filipinos either renewing or enrolling their membership for the Philippine Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.
“We were overwhelmed,” said OWWA board secretariat head Evelyn Llanes, who is representing OWWA throughout the three-day consular outreach. “We are expecting similar numbers in the next two days of the outreach program.”
According to Llanes, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs predicted that about only 500 Filipino citizens would avail of OWWA services over the duration of her three-day visit.
“We checked the history of the last time OWWA sent a representative, and it totaled to about 2,000 enrollees and renewals for the year,” she said, noting that the last time OWWA sent a representative to Saipan was back in 2017.
According to Philippine Consul to Guam Mark Hamoy, they were able to reach their target of 140 passport renewal processing slots for the day, minus the few no-shows who registered.
“We were able to process 132 passport applications, one lost ePassport replacements, five extensions of validity, two legal documents notarial services, one report of birth, one report of marriage, and three dual citizenship petitions filed,” he said.
Altogether, Hamoy noted that the outreach program yielded 145 transactions for the first day.
He noted that similar numbers may be expected in the remaining two days of the consular outreach.
“The passport renewals are more predictable because we have pre-assigned [schedules],” he said. “Since we are supposed to have a full slate per day, we are expecting 280 more [passport renewal] applicants within [today] and [tomorrow], he said.
“We are doing pretty well for what we came here to do,” he said, given that it was the first consular outreach in 2019.