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DFA opens office in Davao mall
By Rudolph Ian G. Alama
posted 14-Sep-2012  ·  
The Department of Foreign Affairs opened on Friday, Sept. 14 its Regional Consular Office in SM City Davao.

Described as a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) between SM chain of malls and the DFA, this is the second DFA satellite consular office opened in an SM Mall.

In August 31 the National Capital Region East passport office was opened in SM Megamall. The SM Davao office is the second of its kind in the country.

The former RCO was located in a rented building in Jacinto Street in Davao City.

Ms. Flora Belinda Bacosa OIC of the Regional Consular Office in Davao City said that though the former location is nearly equal in size with the new SM office but the latter is much sleeker and better designed with larger space for clients than in the previous office.

Bacosa said they used to entertain 300 clients per day in their former office, now they are expecting 400 clients a day in their modern comfortable office.

SM Supermalls president Annie Garcia said the office is rental free for a period of 10 years plus the construction of the office was borne by SM, the mall also provided DFA Davao with a brand new Toyota van to be used in the various functions of the Department. She said the Department will gain P1.04 billion worth of savings for the next ten years under the MOA with SM.

She added the move to have a DFA office in SM is an innovation in customer satisfaction where the mall is envisioned to be a one-stop shop for the public.

DFA Undesecretary Rafael Seguis said that the mall offices is part of the DFA commitment to improve consular services and bringing DFA services closer to the public. Seguis said that by 2013 another service will introduced in the mall offices- the authentication of documents.

Seguis said that if the office can now authenticate documents, clients would no longer have to go and send their documents in Manila, thus saving time and money. (PIA/RG Alama)
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