The Consular Outreach Missions or “Embassy On Wheels” popularly known as “EOW” that are currently implemented by our Philippine Embassy in Riyadh and Philippine Consulate in Jeddah is an effort to bring its services closer to OFWs. The services include Passport Services (new, renewal, releasing, extension), Notarials, Authentication and Certifications, Police clearance Endorsement, Civil Registry and among others.
The EOW provides services to those OFWs in far flung areas in the eastern and the western Region of Saudi Arabia where there are many OFWs. Main cities in this regions are chosen as venue for the EOW and the online appointment was set up to avail the services.
However, our blog received numerous negative comments about our fellow OFWs expectations when in comes to the online booking appointment for passport related services.
Let us just be considerate that Saudi Arabia is hosting almost a million OFWs and the lack of bigger venue may be the reason why our consular outreach program cannot accommodate those OFWs wishing to have their passport renewed. A quota or a number of confirmed appointment is necessary and that is why the schedule for consular outreach through online appointment is usually full for about two to three months in advance. In my understanding once it is full, the online appointment system is block for those who wish to avail the system.
There were also confusing announcement through media that appointments for consular outreach services or “Embassy on Wheels” (EOW) will be made available five (5) days before the actual schedule. The actual schedule is announced in advance through the Philippine Embassy and Philippine Consulate websites.
The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh alone extends 183,484 consular services in 2015 and most of it are passport related services. While the effort is very laudable, implementing it efficiently using the online appointment system is a whole different ball game. Our DFA/Embassy/Consulate should find solutions both the online appointment and the actual scheduling. Perhaps delve deeper how to improve its outreach program and introduced a larger venue and or setting an online system that could accommodate a greater range of available slots based on the scheduled appointment dates.
Fellow OFWs should also be aware of their passport expiration dates and book appointment online six months prior to its expiration and check our Philippine Embassy (http://riyadhpe.dfa.gov.ph/) and Philippine Consulate (http://jeddahpcg.dfa.gov.ph/) websites for update and change of EOW schedules. Also note that our Embassy/Consulate is doing their job and continue their unwavering commitment to serve the Filipinos in Saudi Arabia. – BongA