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Delivery service costly but nobody accountable

09:13 PM July 26, 2011

LAST JUNE 14, I went to the Department of Foreign Affairs in its new location along  Diosdado Macapagal Avenue to have my passport, which had run out of pages, renewed. I arrived promptly at 7 a.m. to make it to my 8 a.m. appointment. I was impressed with the new building, a far cry from the old DFA (passport) building along Roxas Boulevard. The system seemed to be more efficient, and the windows opened at 8 a.m. sharp, some even earlier.

There were no hiccups except for the part when the nice lady from Window 1 said I needed to get an Affidavit of Explanation before she could grant my request for the “express” release of my passport on July 6, 2011 (two weeks earlier than the regular date for the release of renewed passport). I inquired if it was still necessary to secure an Affidavit of Explanation when it was obvious that my passport had run out of pages.  She looked at me and confirmed that it was necessary; she was even kind enough to provide directions to a notary public, which was conveniently located at Door 1 of the DFA building—an “in-house” notary public.  I obediently did as asked and paid P150 for the Affidavit of Explanation—which basically stated the obvious.

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Once I was done with my application for passport renewal, I gravitated toward a sign that said “Passport Delivery.”  I immediately queued up to avail myself of its services and avoid the hassle and inconvenience of travelling back to the DFA to get my passport.

I was told that my passport would be delivered to my address on July 7—a day after the release of my new passport by DFA.  I quickly signed the form, gave my passport claim stub and left DFA thanking my lucky stars for saving me the trouble of missing a few hours at work.  Thanks to LBC!

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July 7 came, but no one from LBC delivered my passport. I figured the deliveries were probably held up due to the rains that week. I waited a few more days, still no word or delivery from LBC.  I called the numbers on the yellow receipt; the phones were either busy or left unanswered (probably unmanned). I called the LBC hotline and was passed on to different numbers, including hotline numbers, without getting any help at all.  I could not track my passport since the yellow receipt given to me did not contain an LBC tracking number.

After several calls  to the LBC hotline and being given the runaround,  I discovered that the delivery service at DFA is owned by TEL-PPT Services who contracts their delivery services to LBC.  Since it was not LBC that I directly dealt with, my yellow receipt could not be tracked online. What I thought was a convenience turned out to be a major inconvenience.

This left me in an impossible position of having to wait for TEL-PPT to deliver my passport.  I couldn’t go to DFA to claim my passport because I had surrendered my passport claim stub to TEL-PPT.

I appeal to TEL-PPT to improve its delivery service for which clients pay.

—ANNA ABAD,

[email protected]

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TAGS: Government, letters to the editor, passport renewal
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