A peek inside the new consular office at SM Megamall

6:52 PM

Yesterday afternoon, I was at the new consular office at SM Megamall with my friend Abe. She was picking up her new passport and I decided to tag along.  Boy, was I pleasantly surprised.

the new consular office at SM megamall is bright, shiny, and new. 

Located at the seventh level of building C, the new consular satellite office is an agreeable monochromatic space.  It is clean, uncluttered, and well-lit.  This new office is divided into three rooms - the main one where the information desk is located, the releasing room, and the authentication room.  

the hallway is pretty much empty. it must have been due to the hour. 

be mature enough to go at it alone. 

The hallway smelled of lemon grass, a scent coming from the woman’s loo located at the end of the corridor.  Yes, there are his and hers restrooms on that level so one doesn't have to dash inside the mall when nature calls.

But though the surroundings vastly improved from the usual government office, old habits remained. 

There are seven windows in the releasing room but yesterday afternoon, only one was manned. According to Abe, the newly-issued passports could only be claimed from 2-6 pm. So if there's just a limited time for people to pick up their passports, why aren't there more people to release them?

there were many empty windows at the releasing office. 

The windows aren't equipped with microphones so the lady had to shout through the hole in order to be heard.  What's up with that?  Isn't a mic standard equipment in such office?

And then there was this lady who tried to claim her passport three days after the said release date. She was supposed to pick it up last Tuesday, yet it seemed that the passport wasn't ready yet. The lady had to wait a while but she eventually did get her passport. 

Abe and I waited a good 40 minutes for hers to be released. I just don't get why the hold up, though. They were just going to hand it over, so what kept them? Perhaps if they had more people behind the windows, we didn't have to wait long. 

I believe in the transforming power of  a good space but I guess in the end, it’s really up to the person (or in the case, a government office) if he decides to change his ways.  

office hours: 10 am to 8 pm, Mondays to Saturdays, for both processing and releasing
10 am to 2 pm, Sunday, for releasing only

to schedule an appointment, log on to www.passport.com.ph or www.megamall.passport.com.ph
or call (02) 737-1000

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