DFA opens 10th mall-based consular office in SM Manila Thursday, October 11, 2012
Phil Daily Inquirer By Fat Reyes
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday opened its 10th mall-based passport office in the country.
In his speech during the inauguration of the office in SM Manila, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario said that the facility was part of the DFA’s thrust to bring its services closer to the public.
He said that like the other mall-based offices in the country, the 1,000 square meter facility in SM Manila would be able to accommodate about 1,000 applicants a day.
He said that to provide better services, it would also be open “from Sunday to Sunday.”
Del Rosario had earlier said that the mall-based passport services facilities were the results of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) deals the DFA entered into with Pacific Mall Corporation, Robinsons Land Corporation, Ayala Land Incorporated, and SM Prime Holdings.
He had also said that the deal would save the government an initial P1.14 billion in operating costs over the next 10 years.
He had noted that by December 2012, at least 11 mall-based passport services in shopping malls nationwide would be opened. Aside from SM Manila, the said offices would be located at Robinsons Galleria, Robinsons Lipa, Robinsons Bacolod, Robinsons Dumaguete, Robinsons General Santos, SM Megamall, SM Baguio, SM Davao, Pacific Mall Legaspi, and Metro Gaisano Alabang.
Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, Congresswoman Zenaida Angping, Congressman Amado Bagatsing, SM Retail President Teresity Sy-Coson, and SM Supermalls President Annie Garcia also attended the event.