Pangilinan rejects higher passport renewal fees imposed on OFWs

Pangilinan rejects higher passport renewal fees imposed on OFWs

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA – Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on Thursday said he is
opposed to the increase in the passport renewal fees imposed on
overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and other Filipinos in the Middle East,
Europe, Asia, and the US.

“Mariin kong tinututulan ang pagtaas ng presyo ng passport renewal
fees sa Middle East, Europe, Asia, at US. Ang desisyon ng mga embahada
at konsulado natin sa mga nasabing bansa na gumamit nang mga
outsourcing companies para mag-proseso ng passport renewal ay dagdag
gastos sa mga nahihirapang Filipinos,” Pangilinan said.

(I oppose the increase in the passport renewal fees imposed on OFWs
and other Filipinos in the Middle East, Europe, Asia and the US. The
decision of Philippine embassies and consulates in these countries
have led to the fee increase to cover administrative costs by these
outsourcing companies,” Pangilinan said.)

“Hirap na hirap na ang maraming OFWs at mga Filipinos sa gitna ng
pandemya,” Pangilinan said.

(“Our OFWs and other Filipinos are already suffering in the middle of
this pandemic,” Pangilinan said.)

OFWs and other Filipinos renewing their passports in the Middle East,
Europe, Asia and the US can now avail of the services of private
outsourcing companies. Through these outsourcing companies, fees for
passport renewal now range from P4,900 and P5,300.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said using these outsourcing
companies is “optional and voluntary.”

A November 11, 2021 advisory of the Philippine Embassy in Rome said
Filipinos who choose to renew their passports through the BLS
International will be charged 35 Euros (P1,993) for “convenience fee,”
and 4.5 Euros (P256) for “revolving fund.”

The “convenience fee” and “revolving fund” are in addition to the
current passport renewal fee of 54 Euros (P3,075). A passport renewed
through the outsourcing company now costs 93.5 Euros (P5,324).

“Baka kailangang magdagdag na mga tauhan ng embahada at konsulado sa
mga nasabing bansa para mag-asikaso ng passport renewals,” Pangilinan
said.

(Maybe it is necessary to add more personnel in these embassies and
consulates to speed up the passport renewal process,” Pangilinan
said.)

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