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Ailyn Agonia
IN a move to ease congestion at the Consular Section of the Philippine Embassy Doha, Filipino Ambassador to Qatar HE Wilfredo Santos said that they are seriously considering the introduction of an appointment system.
There are about more than 222,000 documented Filipinos as per the recent figures from the Ministry of Labour, according to the official.
The Embassy, including the Philippine Overseas Labour Office, has only 42 staff. Santos stressed that implementing an appointment system would make a lot of difference in the efficiency of the delivery of their services.
"Our Embassy is quite small compared to our population. The flow of transactions would be easier if we can have an appointment system. We are doing everything possible to make transacting at the Embassy more convenient for Filipino nationals. We have been also requesting for additional personnel. For now, we have to make do with what we have," the ambassador said.
The appointment system in securing passports is already implemented nationwide in the Philippines and has been well-received by the nationals. Santos said given the space constraints at the current Embassy building, the system is a likely solution to the congestion problems at the mission. He added that the planned appointment system will not only be conducted online but also through phone calls.
The ambassador mentioned that other necessary improvements have been introduced by the Embassy recently both in professionalising the building's environment and in the functions of the staff.
New seats were installed at the Embassy's processing area for the convenience of those waiting for their documents. Painting jobs were also done to improve the appearance of the Embassy.
With the implementation of e-passport system in Doha, the Embassy has secured new equipment for the procedure.
In terms of structural changes, hotlines were provided for consular, assistance to nationals and labour services.
The Embassy has also made its official Facebook page more active in terms of timely response to online inquiries."These changes have improved the efficiency of our personnel. I also asked the Embassy staff to be polite and professional in handling transactions. Improvements will be continuously implemented in the Embassy," said the ambassador.
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