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Filipinos in America

Posted 05/15/2010
(Page 4 of 5)

Bad news for Philippine passport applicants in Florida


The DFA order drew immediate reactions from the Filipino community.

Criticism centers heavily on the abruptness of the order causing undue problems to over 80 passport applicants whose appointments were cancelled. In addition, the order to return over 100 passport applications already held by PHC was perceived as bordering on callousness.

“Napakalupit naman nun,” remarked Melody, originally from Malabon and now living in Fort Myers, Florida with her family. “Parang masyadong matindi yung control. Kaya nga tayo may Consul sa ibang lugar para ma-distribute ang trabaho. It doesn't make sense to me.”

Filipinos strongly reacted since passport notarization could have continued at PHC in the absence of an implementation date for ePassports in the USA. Although there
are plans for Consular outreach to Florida, there were no definite dates announced.

Anje de Ocampo, community leader from Port St. Lucie, learned about the DFA order. He wrote: "This process has been in place for years and has been working just fine. Leave it alone! What happened to common sense?"

Melody, housewife from Fort Myers, want passport services to continue at PHC due to the number of Filipinos that need the service. “Kung maari eh ma-retain nalang dito sa Fort Lauderdale yung processing (notarization) ng passport, kasi marami naman kaming Pilipino dito na kailangan ang serbisyo ng Consulate dito.”

The DFA order drew rebukes from applicants for the financial burden it imposes when flying or driving from Florida to the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C.

“Life is tough nowadays,” wrote Brigitte in an e-mail, whose appointment for passport application at PHC was cancelled. “Most of us cannot afford both financially and time-wise to travel all the way up to Washington D.C.”

“It is very burdensome,” in another e-mail from Mia who lives in Miami. “I am a graduate student with very limited funds and very limited time, and I cannot afford a trip to DC for my passport to be renewed.”

“I'm not just spending money, I'm losing money. This big government thing is ridiculous,” said Ray, a businessman. “Next time you know it they will ask you to put seat belts on. They make you do what they want to do.”

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