MANILA, Oct. 29 A total of 760 Filipino workers in the Al-Khobar area of Saudi Arabia applied for electronic Philippine passports during a recent consular outreach program known as embassy-on-wheels (EOW), the Philippine embassy in Riyadh reported.
E-passports processed in Saudi Arabia cost SR240. A mobile e-passport equipment took the biometric information of applicants such as photo, signature and thumb prints.
It was the first time for the region to implement the e-passport system.
The EOW team also acted on 45 requests for amendment/extension; 200 notarial service applications; 39 birth registrations; five documents for authentication; four lost passport applications; and one replacement of spoiled passport.
A total of 998 new machine readable passports (MRPs) were also released during the same outreach.
The 12-man consular team was led by Consul Romulo Victor M. Israel Jr., traveling over 450 kilometers by land to reach Al-Khobar from the capital of Riyadh.
The Al-Khobar-based Labor Section-Eastern Region Operations of the embassy assisted the team as well as provided help and consultation to distressed OFWs. Social Service Attache Dulfie Tobias-Shalim was also available for marriage counseling.
Last August, the EOW team also visited Al-Khobar. Another EOW outreach in Al-Khobar is planned for Nov. 18 and 19 as part of a regular project of extending frontline services to the estimated 350,000 OFWs in the Eastern Province, the embassy added.
The embassy also plans to conduct a similar outreach in Buraydah and Qassim on Nov. 11, according to embassy charge daffaires Ezzedin Tago.
The EOW service will be conducted at the Al Salam Hotel, located beside the Riyadh Bank main office in Buraydah.
Tago said OFWs from neighboring areas such as Hail can apply for passports. (PNA)