The Philippine Embassy’s Mobile Consular Team was able to successfully service 720 ePassport applicants during its consular mission conducted in Perth, Western Australia on 9 – 10 December 2011.
Initially, the expected number of applicants numbered around 300 but more than double that figure showed up for the weekend outreach. This was the highest recorded number of ePassport applications serviced by the Philippine Embassy in Australia this year.
Through the Mobile Mission, the Embassy was able to service those who were affected by the cut-off in the issuance of machine-readable passports (MRP) and the consequent full implementation of the Philippine ePassport last year.
The conduct of the mobile mission spared the passport applicants from having to travel to the Philippine Canberra since the ePassport system requires personal appearance of applicants for photo and fingerprint capture.
Aside from processing of passport applications, the consular team also administered the oath of allegiance to 36 Filipino dual citizens and accommodated applications for report of birth and report of marriage.
The four-man Mobile Team was composed of Administrative Officer Carlo Estole and Consular Assistants Ronaldo Pilapil, Joel Bulos and Ricardo Antipolo. Mr. Gerald Donnelly, Philippine Honorary Consul General in Perth and members of the Filipino community extended invaluable assistance to the team.
The consular mission to Perth was the fourth conducted by the Embassy this year. Earlier, mobile teams were dispatched to Toowomba and Brisbane in Queensland in March, Alice Springs and Darwin in the Northern Territory in May and Melbourne in Victoria in July.