July 24, 2017, 10:49 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07443 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.4017 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03628 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.32436 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02723 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03626 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04054 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.63579 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03534 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00763 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 34.60377 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02027 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02797 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13904 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06579 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02027 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.30624 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20692 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 405.75598 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04049 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02733 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01952 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 13.57175 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13799 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 58.59343 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 11.43535 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02027 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.98075 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.47231 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.59951 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13357 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.95278 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.19181 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.28109 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.36583 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.46433 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01797 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04244 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01573 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01572 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08685 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.91021 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 182.75233 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1491 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 4.14512 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15784 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.47422 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13229 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.24625 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.54195 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 269.57844 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07211 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.30521 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 23.93595 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 657.62059 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 1.9771 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.6139 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01433 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.23666 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.0906 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.38113 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 81.57681 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 9.12404 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 18.24078 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 22.6366 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00614 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01662 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.364 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 166.08836 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 30.51277 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.08877 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 1.84435 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25922 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06179 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01258 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02821 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19642 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.36735 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.09972 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 27.52331 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 48.27726 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16258 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 7.25578 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.70024 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.31394 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 14.54094 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37863 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08672 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2604 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.52615 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59972 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17055 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.08654 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02835 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00779 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02027 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06622 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06654 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.11897 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0753 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 112.82935 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0738 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08196 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.14766 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.61897 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.076 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16004 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26836 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13498 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17451 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02797 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01573 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45006 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 152.00649 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 11.08634 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 435.85326 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17678 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.43737 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26014 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.6897 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04917 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04647 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0711 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13537 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.61011 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 45.17633 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.53223 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 72.78071 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02027 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.57377 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 77.82732 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20216 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 459.54601 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.18241 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05201 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 11.77483 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05472 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 11.82205 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 2.13174 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 5.06546 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25921 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 105.17835 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.33482 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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