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A Great Service to Kababayans

Updated May. 31, 2005


Dear Editor,

I am writing this as I am aboard Northwest Airlines flying over Canadian airspace bound for Minneapolis with a final destination to Manila, Philippines, May 21, 2005. With me are my loving wife and my two young kids heading our way to visit our families.

Early this year my better half and I decided to book this flight and little did we know I will have difficulty renewing my passport because my most recent Philippine expired passport which I needed to renew apparently I discovered to be missing.

It was 6 weeks before our scheduled flight, enough time to renew a passport under regular circumstances which only takes 3 weeks. Lost passport renewal however requires much more time - a copy of birth certificate from National Statistics Office, Manila is required by the Embassy. Surprisingly, the NSO's record of my birth certificate does not indicate my first name which prompted me to ask my mother to go to Manila City Hall to get a copy of my birth certificate and submit it to NSO. For some reason, the NSO needed 3 weeks to get my clean birth certificate into their system which was eventually forwarded to and received by the good office of Washington D. C. Philippine Embassy on May 9, 2005 and the Embassy needs 15 working days to process it. At this point, our chances of going home grew dim.

My father in law is getting very old. He's now 82 years of age and this maybe is our last opportunity to have him see our 5 year old daughter and the same for my own parents who are anxious to see their only granddaughter among 5 grand kids. We have not been back home since July of 1998 when my mother in law passed away and in as much as we tried not to have the same fate with my father in law - see him while he still strong and able, it appears to be inevitable.

I was on the verge of canceling our flight but with a sudden twist of fate, thru some concerned friends we learned that I could appeal to the good office of the Philippine Embassy headed by Ambassardor Albert F. Del Rosario and Consular Staff headed by Consul General Ms. Jocelyn Batoon-Garcia. Exactly 4 days before our scheduled flight, I wrote a letter to Consul General Ms. Jocelyn Batoon-Garcia presenting to her my situation and all of a sudden, I found myself engaged in a constant communication with the Embassy personnel and at that point I realized I found my final "lifeline".

Yesterday morning I received my renewed passport and it sure felt like winning a million bucks - We are now on our way to the Philippines and it's all because of the relentless pursuit of our kababayan's trying to give us great services.

To all of those responsible to expedite my passport renewal especially to Consul General Ms. Jocelyn Batoon-Garcia and Consular Attache Lidonio - thank you very much … it makes me feel so proud to be a Filipino having people like you in our public office. I wish you and your good office more power and continued success.




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