20 March 2020 – The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared COVID-19 as a pandemic. Australia has been implementing measures and restrictions to protect the Australian community from the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Subsequently, the Australian Capital Territory declared a public health emergency on 16 March.
Mindful of the paramount importance of protecting the health of clients and the wider community and in support of the social distancing measures being implemented by Australia and ACT, the Philippine Embassy in Canberra will implement the following, effective 30 March 2020:
- The Philippine Embassy will still maintain its daily operations but will have reduced working hours, 10:00AM – 3:00PM, Monday to Friday, except holidays, until further notice;
- Applicants for any consular service are encouraged to call ahead at (02) 6273-2535 loc 231 before going to the Embassy so that they can be advised of a convenient timeslot. Such clients will be given priority during their appointed time;
- Visa applications will no longer be accepted beginning 20 March 2020 in accordance with the DFA Advisory on Temporary Suspension of Visa Issuance and Visa-free Privileges. Click here for the full advisory. Please call (02) 6273-2535 loc 259 for any related concerns.
- Releasing of passports may encounter delays due to the disruptions in delivery from the Philippines. For the requirements and any related concerns, please call (02) 6273-2535 loc 231.
- To limit face-to-face transactions, mailed applications for civil registry, notarials, and NBI services are highly encouraged; Please call (02) 6273-2535 loc 233 for any related concerns.
- Mailed applications for dual citizenship services are also highly encouraged. Dual citizenship oath taking will now be scheduled on a monthly basis. For any related queries, please call (02) 6273-2535 loc 259.
- The mobile Consular Mission to Darwin is postponed. New dates will be announced once conditions have eased.
- To maintain safe social distance between clients inside its premises, the Embassy will implement a maximum of only 6 applicants inside the consular section every hour; Clients are requested to maintain at least 1 meter distance from fellow clients and to avoid physical contact with other persons when inside the Embassy. Applicants in excess of the maximum number allowed inside the consular section can stay at the waiting area in front of the consular section while waiting for their turn.
- Clients must NOT come to the Embassy if they have any fever or flu-like symptoms. The Philippine Embassy reserves the right to check the temperature of clients and prevent the entry of any persons showing flu-like symptoms;
- Only clients (no dependents) shall be allowed in the Embassy premises. Exemptions will be made only for clients who are minors, senior citizens or persons with disabilities;
- Clients must sanitize their hands before entering the Embassy building. Hand sanitizers will be available at the building entrance. Clients are also expected to sanitize their hands before and after each procedure in the Embassy and are encouraged to bring and wear their own masks while inside the premises;
- Clients are strongly encouraged to pay for consular services through credit or debit card to lessen possibility of transmission.
For consular and assistance to nationals queries, please call (02) 6273-2535. For urgent queries outside office hours, the Duty Officer may be reached through the hotline number +61408735383.
For Filipino workers concerns and queries, please call the POLO hotline number (02) 6273-8882.
The Philippine Embassy encourages the public to follow the advice of local health authorities and contribute in overall efforts to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. END