February 20, 2018, 5:45 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07035 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03736 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0341 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37852 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02417 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0341 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03831 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.58755 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03006 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00722 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 33.54368 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01916 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02532 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13142 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06189 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01916 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.22893 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18046 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 383.5249 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03827 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02404 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01774 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 11.3659 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12153 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 54.27203 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 10.83966 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01916 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.70268 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.39128 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.38755 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.115 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.93544 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.16856 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24138 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33716 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.52165 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01543 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03813 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01366 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01366 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08656 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.89866 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 172.37548 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14054 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 3.9364 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14982 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45019 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.11447 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.21437 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 4.80326 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 259.67432 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06787 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.23063 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.68199 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 709.84673 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 1.91667 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.39444 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01355 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03307 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 1.93774 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.30544 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 76.53257 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 7.57567 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.24138 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 20.41552 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00573 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01571 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.12088 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 158.62069 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 28.83908 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 2.97165 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.44272 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.22308 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0584 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01189 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02534 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17539 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.31734 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.9454 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 25.42146 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 45.82375 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15425 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.68582 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.61303 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.29828 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 13.66743 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.35467 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07454 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.22274 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.87739 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59195 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14901 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 1.96697 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02593 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00737 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01916 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06225 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06025 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.11398 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0642 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 106.68774 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06973 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07198 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.08044 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.10153 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07184 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14875 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25546 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34393 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15255 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02511 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01367 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.4254 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 146.16858 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.76628 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 378.35439 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16762 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 9.86552 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.22276 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59923 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04546 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04238 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07167 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12904 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.55669 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 43.02682 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.51715 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 69.38697 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01916 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.54521 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 156.47509 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 477.73945 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 434.75095 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.01916 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04802 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.11303 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05172 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.11303 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.81628 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.78831 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.22279 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 99.41571 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 6.93295 Zimbabwe dollar

It’s only now that Yasay knows about passport applicants’ woes

IT was only Thursday last week that Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay, Jr. knew the agony that Filipinos who are applying for a new or renewing their passport have to go through.

In a post in my Facebook last Friday, Yasay said: “I am hearing for the first time that there are incessant breakdowns or interruptions in internet connections which I will address today.”

Thank you, Mr. Secretary.

How the problem that has caused so much stress to many Filipinos finally got to the Secretary underscores the usefulness of Facebook.

Yasay was informed about the problem and the toxicity that it is causing passport applicants by his wife, Cecile Joaquin Yasay.

And how did Cecile know about it?

Political consultant Malou Tiquia and Canada-based Diana Baylon informed her about my post detailing the agony my nephew and niece were going through in getting an appointment for the renewal of the passport and reactions of my Facebook friends relating the same experience.

Diana Baylon was the physical therapist of Cecile Yasay’s father, Nereo Joaquin, when she was still with the Philippine General Hospital.

Diana learned about my FB post from her brother-in-law, JB Baylon of Nickel Asia and fellow Malaya columnist, and she informed Mrs. Yasay about it.

Here’s my Feb. 5, 2:10 p.m. FB post:

“DFA passport online service sucks. My nephew and niece have been trying to get an appointment for renewal of their passports for a March trip. The earliest available appointment is Feb. 16. That’s still okay.

When they tried filling up the application form, and submitting it, they get the advisory “online connection server failed.” We tried calling up the numbers on the website, nobody answers. We have been on this since last night. Please naman huwag nyo namang gawing kalbaryo ang napakasimpleng gawain na renewal of passport. Kung hindi gumagana ang inyong server, magbigay ng notice para hindi maubos ang oras namin sa harap ng computer. Kailangan ba kami pumunta na lang sa DFA office mismo? Magbigay naman ng tamang advisory. Mahirap ba yan?”

Immediately, other shared similar woes. My other niece, Joanna Nunieza Viduya, posted, “I feel you Tita, been trying to schedule online since Tuesday and same problem din na-encounter ko.”

Writer Rochit Tañedo said: “Tried about twenty times before i got through.”

I told Rochit she should get a medal for patience and perseverance.

Rosemarie Samar said she was also into it the past two hours. “Grabeeeee!!!! it’s been 2 hrs ndi pa rin aq tapos sa online appointment. down un system, palagi time out. paki-improve naman sayang yun binabayad naming tax senio eh. disappointed aq sa system, ndi convenient. grabee!!!”

Later she posted this: “After 3 hrs and 28 mins natapos din ang appointment. Super disappointing. Now, struggle naman sa pag download ng form. Tsk!”

Ana May Pacheco Abalo shared her own experience: “Tama grabe within 3 days lahat na ng oras nag try ako dahil akala ko busy lang ang server sa oras jan sa pinas. Pero ganun parin ngyn 7 am na dito from kagabi wala pakong tulog .nakaka inis sayang pag ppuyat wla man lng advice na Hnd tlaga mkka gawa ng appointment. sobrang disappointed. buti sa iba nanjan lang sa pinas ehh pano kung katulad namin both kami mag asawa nandito sa ibang bansa.. tapos mahigpit pa sa authorization letter . hay nko.”

Worse was what my friend’s brother- in -law had to go though. She said: “My brother-in-law and his family had to go to Cebu just to apply for passport kasi sobrang puno ang queue sa Manila kahit sa satellites sa malls. They applied online. Flew to Cebu for picture taking and had the passports delivered to Laguna. Ganoon na kalala.”

Yasay’s first reaction to the posts was a history of the problem with the government printer, APO (Asian Productivity Organization): “I agree that the online appointment system for the application and renewal of passports sucks. Not only that, but also the unreasonable delays in the delivery of passports to the applicants. This is because the previous administration had maneuvered the removal of passport printing from the BSP and awarded it to APO Corporation, a government entity ill-equipped to handle the job, without any public bidding.”

He didn’t offer any solution.

A former APO official refuted Yasay’s explanation saying, “I am no longer with Apo but inanities mouthed by Yasay are simply revolting. It is DFA that is the one in charge of scheduling.”
Last Friday, Yasay issued this statement:

“Thank you for all your suggestions on how to improve our passport services at our various consular offices at the DFA. They are important and valuable to us. We will take them into serious consideration.

“Since day one that we assumed office we hit the ground running in trying to address this problem, which we continue to do so in earnest. The most serious situation is in our head consular offices in ASIANA.

We have contained the problem in all our other RCOs and satellite offices all over the country. As some of you have correctly pointed out, our task is not simply to point out a problem but to solve it immediately without causing undue difficulties to the public or a disruption of vital services. Thank you for your patience and please continue to provide us with your helpful inputs.

“I was advised by my officials that the appointment system of UGEC informs the public about the backlogs and gives them option to choose the most convenient RCO. I am hearing for the first time that there are incessant breakdown or interruptions in internet connections which I will address today. I am also checking widespread reports of fixers with direct connections from UGEC that sell appointments.”

Per Secretary Yasay’s statement he was going to “address the problem” last Friday.

Give us your feedback.

***

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