The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Regional Consular Office in Tacloban (RCO Tacloban) recently inaugurated its mall-based consular office at Robinsons Mall North in a bid to bring passport application services closer to the public.
The transfer of the DFA consular office to Robinsons Mall North from its old location near the provincial capitol aims to provide convenience to applications since the mall is located within the bus terminal complex in Abucay village.
“The regional consular office’s new location promises a more convenient and comfortable passport application experience in line with the DFA’s commitment to make the passport application system faster and easier for the public,” said Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs Frank Cimafranca during the inauguration Saturday.
The new office will have more processing and bio-metric encoding counters to process more applications. Clients will also be able to avail of assistance-to-nationals services at the new consular office.
“Since its transfer to its mall-based location in January, DFA Tacloban has served around 22,000 clients. Our new location has greatly improved the delivery of our services to the public, making it a more comfortable and convenient experience,” DFA Tacloban Acting Officer-in-Charge Dorotea Apostol told reporters.
The consular office can accommodate up to 300 appointments a day, excluding those who avail the courtesy lane such as persons with disability, senior citizens and pregnant women.
DFA Tacloban is the first of at least three consular offices hosted inside Robinsons Malls up for opening this year. Two other consular offices will be inaugurated in San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte and Santiago, Isabela in the next several weeks.
DFA and Robinsons Malls inked a memorandum of agreement for the establishment of 14 consular offices in 14 malls in the country.
Other Robinsons Malls with DFA Consular Office include Robinsons Galleria in Ortigas, Robinsons Star Mills in Pampanga, Robinsons General Santos, Robinsons Lipa, Robinsons Place Bacolod, Robinsons Place Iloilo, Robinsons Butuan, Robinsons Place Palawan, Robinsons Place Dumaguete, Robinsons Pangasinan, and Robinsons Novaliches.
DFA’s Tacloban office was established in July 13, 2003 as the country’s 11th DFA consular office. In November 2013, the consular office was forced to suspend its operation after the destruction of super typhoon Yolanda and resumed operations in July 2014.