Picture shown is for illustrative purposes only.
For 16 days effective Mar.25 (Wednesday), the two Philippine missions in the UAE which attend to 900 clients a day shall only be accepting or attending to Assistance-To-Nationals (ATN) cases such as those pertaining to runaways and those in serious need of help.
Consul General in Dubai and the Northern Emirates Paul Raymund Cortes on Monday said: "All consular services which would include passport, authentication, visa, civil registry shall only be attended to after April 8, Wednesday."
"In the (ATN), it would be of course those relative to runaways and other similar cases; those in dire need of help," he continued.
Gulf Today asked the clarification from Cortes as the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi (400 clients a day) and the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai (500 clients a day) have posted on their respective official websites and Facebook pages advisories on the suspension of "all frontline consular services in support of enhanced preventive measures of the UAE to contain the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), particularly the appeal to stay home."
Incidentally, towards Monday dawn, the online edition of Gulf Today already carried news about the request of UAE authorities for everyone to refrain from leaving their homes unless necessary such as buying basic commodities.
Cortes said: "Let us obey what our host government is directing us to do."
On the advisories, Filipinos with "existing passport appointments" would be "accommodated anytime within one month starting April 12 (Sunday) to May 12 (Tuesday)" during office hours of the work week excluding legal holidays.
They are reminded to bring "a copy of the e-mail confirmation of the original appointment."
For Filipinos who had availed of passport services at the VFS in Wafi Mall, Dubai, they are advised to log in at www.vfsglobal.com and https://dubaipcg.dfa.gov.ph/e-passport-renewal-center-parc.
For Filipinos in the capital and the Western Region, they may call WhatsApp and message +971508137836.
For those in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, the ATN contact details are +971565015755/56 and the WhatsApp is +971564177558.
The over 600,000 Filipinos in the UAE are also encouraged to go over the official websites and Facebook pages of the two Philippine missions for the dedicated email addresses for concerns regarding passports, notarials, birth and marriage registrations, visas and ATN.
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