Dear Department of Foreign Affairs,
I have been trying to set an appointment with you since mid of last year, and finally, I was able to set one with your Ali Mall satellite office scheduled January 20, 2018 at 1:00 PM.
When I applied for the appointment online, I did not receive an email confirmation so I thought it was not successful, and so I tried setting an appointment again. But when I did, it said “Appointment already exists. Please cancel your previous appointment to book a new appointment schedule.”
With this, I became certain my appointment was accepted. But since I still wanted to verify, I sent you a message through Facebook, and you replied “Thanks for dropping us a line! For passport and other consular concerns, kindly email us at [email protected],” and I did send you an email, but did not get any reply.
I decided to call your hotline and asked for assistance. Your representative confirmed that I indeed have scheduled an appointment, but she seemed unsure on how to deal with the case like mine so she gave me the contact number of DFA Ali Mall. I immediately called and talked to a woman whose name I forgot. She seemed unsure about my case too but said I should just go to the venue on the day of my appointment schedule at an earlier time to have my case positively figured out, and so I also did.
I went to DFA Ali Mall satellite office on the day of my supposedly appointment, arriving at around 12:15PM. I went directly to the attending guard and narrated my case. I was then told to just fall in line (in a very long line), so I looked for the end of the line and stood in queue. I was hungry but couldn’t leave in fear of losing my spot. It was around 2:30PM when it was finally my turn to enter the mighty gate. But to my dismay, I was denied access. I was told my appointment was not confirmed. That’s when I felt like an ice bucket was poured over me. My hands trembled, and so my voice.
I explained and insisted I should be accommodated, but your staff member insisted the opposite. I was just given a piece of paper with your hotline’s number on it (the one I called days ago), and told me to just call the number. And of course, I said I already called the number, and explained over again. I asked if maybe he can do something as it was certainly some system glitch, but he said there’s nothing wrong with your system. I asked if they could assist me right then and there, but said they couldn’t. I insisted I definitely talked with one of the personnel inside but got blamed for not being able to get the name of the person I talked with.
It was pretty exhausting asking assistance from someone who does not have a bit of willingness to help. I felt pathetic explaining and insisting over and over while your man is as firm as a rock insinuating there’s nothing they can do for me.
Feeling helpless, I asked where I could file a complaint, and I was told “In our main office in Pasay, that’s where the bosses are.” Hearing that was just heart-wrenching. I gave up, asked for his name, and left defeated.
When I was done convincing myself to get it over with, I visited your online site and decided to just set a new appointment schedule. But when I saw all your satellite offices, from A-Z (Yes, I checked from Angeles to Zamboanga), and there’s no available slot until June 2018, I couldn’t get any more dumbfounded. I realized I couldn’t easily get it over with. Seriously, how can I?
I am too disheartened with my first ever experience with you. I’m sure mine is just menial, others might have it worse. I am not really sure why I am writing this. I only hope that somehow this reaches you, and make things a little bit easier not only for most but for everyone, and on top of all, shower available slots for souls like me to feast on.
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