If you haven’t read yet, I posted an article about a few tips on how you can get your passport renewal process faster. You might wonder why I would renew in Dumaguete when there’s a DFA office in Cebu, right? Check out the article by clicking here.
I live in Cebu and back in February I had heard clamors about how people seem to be struggling to find appointments online to renew their passports. Many of them needed to renew right away since they had already booked travel flights. It pained me to think that they might not be able to take their trip due to this huge hiccup. That’s a lot of time, money, and effort wasted. Probably would require more, too, if there was any chance to reschedule/re-book but that’s unlikely. Flights these days are cheap and not “re-bookable”, unless they paid the regular prices.
Problem is, they waited too long to renew their passport. To their defense, who would have thought that it would be this difficult to set an appointment due to the influx of people either finally getting their passports or renewing them.
A little tip before moving forward, don’t wait to renew your passport. You can renew it even 12 or 15 months earlier than its expiration date. Heck, that’s what I did! I was so worried I would struggle so much later on. Anyway, I have time to spare in case there weren’t any available dates sooner. Better safe than sorry, as they say.
So moving on…
I had a Saturday appointment at 1 PM at the Dumaguete branch of DFA. I thought about how I would rather finish this in just a day instead of paying more money to sleep overnight. I just needed the willpower to survive two 4-hour bus rides, a couple of quick boat rides, and a couple of jeepney rides in the scorching heat.
So here’s what I did:
- Take an early bus to Liloan, Santander at 5 AM
- Take the fast craft to Sibulan, Dumaguete (roughly around 9 AM)
- Arrive Sibulan and take a jeepney to Robinsons (9:30 AM)
- Have coffee at Bo’s just by the mall entrance and wait for mall to open at 10 AM
- Eat. Print out requirements. Chill out till 1PM.
- Process renewal and be done by 2 PM (I heard they’re fast and efficient in this branch!)
- Take the 3 PM boat from Sibulan back to Cebu
- Take a 4 PM bus back to the city and home sweet home by 9 PM (including traffic)
In reality, I arrived back home at 7 PM. Thank goodness! How? Well, you know how my appointment was at 1 PM? I went in at 10:30 AM to ask the guards at the DFA if I could get in just to confirm that all my requirements are correct and complete. Anyway, I had a couple more hours to spare in case I had forgotten something (I always like giving myself “wiggle room” for any mishap or whatever).
To my surprise, they had already let me start processing my papers and I was done by 12 NN. That’s right, you can always try and sneak in earlier than planned so you can either give yourself more time to spare or get the chance to be back home sooner.
My expenses? I’ll give you a breakdown of everything I spent and maybe you can avoid spending an extra hundred pesos if you learn from my minor mistakes:
- 95 – Taxi
- 210 – Bus
- 65 – Boat
- 25 – Water
- 20 – Jeepney (straight to Robinsons)
- 62 – Printing / Photocopy (PAL Office in Robsinsons)
- 85 – Lunch
- 950 – Renewal Fee
- 150 – Delivery Fee
- 20 – Jeepney
- 65 – Boat
- 15 – Water
- 30 – Chips
- 210 – Bus
- 95 – Taxi
TOTAL: PHP 2,097.00
So, tips on how you can save money? Print the requirements right away. The PAL office I went to charged too much. Also, bring your own water! I was silly enough not to bring my own bottle. Lastly, don’t snack. I didn’t need the snacks. I wasn’t even hungry and I ate it just because.
The PHP 950 renewal fee promises you 20 working days till you get your new passport. Need it sooner? Pay the express fee of PHP 1,200 to get it within 10 workings days. That’s about two weeks and the fastest you can get!
If your appointment is later in the day, you can wait around till midnight to take a boat from the pier to Cebu. You’ll arrive at around 5 AM. That gives you time to explore the little city! Or just chill out till then.
PASSPORT RENEWAL REQUIREMENTS
If you haven’t seen the list yet on the DFA website, check the list below to see if you’ve got everything you need!
- Confirmed Online Appointment
- Personal appearance
- Accomplished Application Form (the one they send you in your email)
- Current Passport
- Photocopy of current passport’s data page
- Original PSA authenticated documents that will support the change of name (if applicable)
- Marriage Contract
- Annotated Birth Certificate
- Annotated Marriage Contract to show annulment/divorce/court ordered instruction
- Death Certificate of Spouse
For more details, kindly visit their website!
HUGE TIP: Bring your NSO birth certificate just in case. I didn’t have to present mine but maybe they’ll decide to give you a hard time (like they did to a few people I know) and ask for it anyway. At least you’re prepared!