THE DEPARTMENT of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Thursday said the influx of applicants for apostille services at its Parañaque office, some of whom spent the night lining up outside, were prompted by misinformation from their recruitment agencies.

“According to accounts of applicants, their recruitment agencies urged them to line up and stay overnight at DFA Aseana so that all their travel documents could be expedited,” Office of Consular Affairs Deputy Assistant Secretary and Executive Director Christian de Jesus told reporters in a briefing.

“Other applicants conveyed that their agencies instructed them late at night to proceed to DFA-Aseana immediately,” he added.

After the department announced on Tuesday that it will begin allowing apostille walk-in applications at its Aseana office the next day, hundreds of applicants started forming a line outside until late at night to have their documents processed for overseas employment.

The DFA said the recruitment agencies’ behavior were “highly irresponsible and malicious” as it disregarded the department’s announced limits for walk-in applications.

As of Thursday, DFA-Aseana was processing 900 passport and 1,400 authentication applications daily through the online appointment system. Walk-in applications are limited to 300 per day.

DFA reminded the public that 10 other consular offices also offer slots for walk-in applicants.

It also cautioned against fixers who claim to offer assistance in obtaining passports and appointment slots for higher fees. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan

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