Friday, July 16, 2021

SM, DFA, signs agreement for consular services in CDO

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has inked a five-year deal with SM Supermalls to widen the provision and availability to the public of consular services in Cagayan De Oro on July 2 via simultaneous onsite and online events.

The Memorandum of Agreement signing, held at the MAAX Building in Pasay, was attended by SM Supermalls President Steven T. Tan, SM Supermalls SVP for Operations Bien Mateo, DFA Civilian Security & Consular Affairs Undersecretary Brigido J. Dulay, DFA Consular Affairs Officer-In-Charge Senen T. Mangalile, as well as the DFA CDO and Aseana executives who attended virtually.

“We are honored and privileged to be of service to the CDO community as we help the DFA open another consular office that will ensure the delivery of passports and other consular services conveniently and efficiently,” said SM Supermalls President Steven T. Tan

Under the partnership, SM is providing the DFA space in SM CDO Downtown Premier to operate its Consular Office, from Monday to Friday at 10 AM to 6 PM starting this July. This is the 8th Consular Office installed in SM Supermalls alongside the seven (7) Consular Offices located in SM Megamall, SM City Manila, SM City Baguio, SM City Davao, SM Cherry Foodarama Antipolo, SM City San Pablo, and SM City Dasmariñas.

“We hope to serve the public better with an efficient and effective seamless delivery of government services including the processing and issuance of passports with minimal to no inconvenience to the public. With the opening of this additional consular office that is hosted by our private sector partner, SM Supermalls, the CDO community can now conveniently and safely access our consular services,” shared DFA Usec. Dulay.

The signing of the Public-Private Partnership agreement is part of the DFA’s commitment to making their consular services more accessible to the public and fast-track the application for and renewal of passports.

During the program, the DFA has also entered into an agreement with SM Supermalls for Temporary Offsite Passport Services Centers in SM Mall of Asia, SM North Edsa, and in SM Aura to address backlog and provide more appointment schedules for passport applicants and renewals which have been affected by the pandemic.

“With the DFA Temporary Offsite Passport Services Centers, we can increase our passport production capacity despite the pandemic. Our passport applicants and renewals don’t have to flock to the DFA offices and put themselves at risk of getting exposed to COVID-19,” said DFA Usec. Dulay.

From February 2019 to March 2020, SM Seaside hosted the Passport on Wheels (POWs) for the DFA. The POW mega vans each served 800 to 1,000 applications a day.

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