Better processing of Philippine passport applications were observed this week at the mobile consular mission being held at the Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center in Susupe.
The mobile mission this month, which started last Tuesday and will last until Friday, will only process passport applications as other documentations can now be coursed through honorary consul Glicerio Arago’s office.
According to Consul Mark Hamoy of the Consulate General of the Philippines in Agana, Guam, all those who registered for applications showed up.
“So far we’re 100 percent,” Hamoy said.
The mobile mission is presently accommodating 100 applications per day.
Hamoy attributes the better processing through the tweaks that they made over the past year. From straight up walk-in applications to pre-encoded processing, they are now using a pre-scheduled but not pre-encoded system in accepting applications for passport renewals.
Although they were able to accommodate about 20 more applications when they were pre-encoding data, Hamoy said they had 25 to 30 percent “no show” applicants.
“At that time because we do pre-encoding, our system gets clogged by data,” Hamoy said.
He also pointed out that their team stretched their hours from 9am to 7pm to accommodate 100 applicants each day even though they won’t get paid overtime hours.
As only 400 slots were made available for the current mission, the need for more slots was still evident during the appointment scheduling done last Sunday.
According to Arago’s office, over 300 more applications were received, already awaiting the next mission.
Arago said he is concerned about Filipinos who will need to have valid passports to renew their Commonwealth-only work permits, and many would need to renew by April.
It takes about two months after processing for the passports to arrive.
Arago said they will still push to have another mission soon, which would hopefully be next month. However, Hamoy said there is only a “slim chance” for that to happen.
The PCG-Guam also caters to other islands in the Pacific such as Palau where Filipinos are also present.
Hamoy said they are looking at middle of March for the next mission to happen as they try to schedule it every other month.