The Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA) has asked the Foreign Affairs department (DFA) to restore the 1,000 allotted slots previously provided to travel agents for passport renewals and application processing.
PTAA president Marlene Dado Jante said that while they support the DFA’s campaign to stop fixers and individuals selling bogus appointments for processing, this should not be at the expense of PTAA members.
The DFA removed the online appointment slots of travel agencies last July 31, supposedly due to streamlining of the passport process and “cleansing” its offices and stations of unscrupulous and bogus fixers.
Jante said the July 31 decision came at a time when travel was about to enter its peak season.
“This resulted in loss of business for travel agencies,” she said.
Jante said accredited travel agencies have so far lost an estimated US$205,000 (P10.24 million) in revenues since the DFA removed the slots.
She added that 15% of the revenue stream of some of the PTAA members comes from their passport processing services.
“Courtesy of Travel Weekly Asia”