The Department of Foreign Affairs said it opened on Tuesday five temporary offices to accommodate more passport renewals and applications in Metro Manila and surrounding areas.
The Temporary Offsite Passport Services (TOPS) are available in SM Mall of Asia, SM City North EDSA, SM Aura, Robinsons Place Las Piñas, and Robinsons Place Magnolia, with appointments available until the end of September.
Each site can accommodate 500 applicants daily and will be open Mondays to Saturdays, said DFA Usec. Brigido J. Dulay.
This means 177,500 passport appointments until Sept. 30 on top of the appointments available in the DFA's other permanent consular offices nationwide.
"The DFA is aware of the demand for passport appointment slots during the pandemic and so we prepared a temporary expansion of our consular operations in off-site locations to address this need while maintaining health and safety protocols," Dulay said.
Appointments are free and should only be made on the official DFA website. Applicants are warned of fixers and scammers charging hefty fees for appointments.
Courtesy lane clients—such as overseas Filipino workers with valid or existing contracts, senior citizens, pregnant applicants, children below seven years old, persons with disabilities, and solo parents—may secure an appointment in the TOPS offices, or access the facility by sending an e-mail to email@example.com.
This story originally appeared on Reportr.world.
* Minor edits have been made by the Candymag.com editors.