Quote for the Week..

"Why are the country’s political leaders quick to act on amending the Constitution to change nationalistic provisions for the benefit of foreigners or to extend their terms of office but are allergic to amending the Constitution to address the people’s aspirations for self-determination?" - Marvic Leonen,Dean of the UP College of Law, in a keynote address delivered at the 1st International Solidarity Conference on Mindanao; March 16-18, 2009 in Davao City, Philippines.


Saturday, September 13, 2008

GenSan, Cotabato and Butuan will soon have its own passport offices

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/11 September 2008) – Residents of General Santos, Cotabato and Butuan will no longer have to commute to Davao City or Cagayan de Oro City to get their passports. They will have their own passport processing offices soon.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has ordered the “immediate opening” of six additional regional consular offices of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), half of them in Mindanao: Cotabato, General Santos and Butuan,

The President’s directive is embodied in Executive Order 748 issued on Aug. 28, 2008, “to effect an efficient delivery of basic public services by bringing it closer to the people.”

The Regional Consular Offices are mandated “to process and issue passports and to extend various consular services to Filipinos and non-residents alike."

Aside from the three Mindanao cities, the other areas where consular offices will be set up are the cities of Bacolod, Puerto Princes and Baguio.

Under the E.O., funding for the project will be coming from the annual budget of the DFA and the Passport Revolving Fund.

“For Calendar Year 2008, an initial fund amounting to P66-million shall be released from any available appropriation for CY 2008, as may be determined by the Department of Budget of Management,” the E.O. said.

The E.O also provides for the organizational requirements and housing for the soon-to-be-created consular offices.

At present, residents of Cotabato, General Santos and the neighboring provinces of Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Maguindanao and Shariff Kabunsuan and the three Davao provinces have to go to Davao City to have their passports processed.

At present, too, residents from Caraga region – the two Agusans and two Surigaos -- and Bukidnon have to go to Cagayan de Oro for the same service. (Source: MindaNews)

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