RCO Cagayan de Oro Newsletter
30 June 2008    ·     No. 1     ·     Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines
President Arroyo opens DFA's 12th RCO in Butuan City

President Arroyo cuts the ceremonial ribbon at the entrance to RCO Butuan, assisted by Undersecretary Esteban B. Conejos, Jr. (leftmost) and other high national and local officials.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo inaugurated on 21 May 2008 the twelfth Regional Consular Office of the Department of Foreign Affairs in Butuan City as part of her program to bring the government closer to the people.
Assisting the President at the opening ceremony for RCO Butuan at its office in Cesia Building, Montilla Boulevard were House Speaker Prospero Nograles, Agusan Del Norte 1st District Rep. Jose “Joboy” Aquino, 2nd District Rep. Edelmiro Amante, Butuan City Mayor Democrito “Boy Daku” Plaza II, and DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Esteban Conejos, Jr.. Also present was Surigao Del Sur Gov. Vicente Pimentel, Jr.
With the opening of the RCO Butuan, residents of CARAGA region no longer have to go all the way to Cagayan de Oro City to apply for passports. Considering the distance between Butuan and Cagayan de Oro, the savings in time and money for ordinary passport applicants is substantial.
Agusan Del Norte 1st District Rep. Jose “Joboy” Aquino said the opening of RCO Butuan is one of his priority projects intended to serve, not only the residents of Agusan Del Norte, but the entire CARAGA region. CARAGA is composed of five provinces namely; Agusan Del Norte, Agusan Del Sur, Surigao Del Norte, Surigao Del Sur and the newly-born province of Dinagat Island. Residents of the eastern towns of Misamis Oriental and even Southern Leyte residents are expected to also profit from the establishment of RCO Butuan.
Since RCO Butuan started operating on 21 May 2008, passport applicantions have dropped by around 15% in Cagayan de Oro. A more accurate figure will be observed as the months go by, because the opening of the school year also has some
Two officials join RCO Butuan

President Arroyo inspects the passport released by OIC Sumando at the opening of RCO Butuan.
Two officials from RCO Cagayan de Oro were reassigned to the newly opened DFA Regional Consular Office in Butuan.
Mr. Laurence M. Sumando, Administrative Officer of this RCO, was designated Officer-in-Charge of RCO Butuan, while Mr. Welmer C. Buenconsejo, Collecting Officer, was designated Acting Finance Officer and Signing Officer. RCO Cagayan de Oro wishes its two dear colleagues all the best in Butuan City.
Renovation of the future office building continues

Asst. Secretary Domingo Lucenario (leftmost) inspecting the frontage of the building.
The renovation of the future office building of RCO Cagayan de Oro at Lim Ket Kai Center continues without slackening.
OCA Assistant Secretary Domingo Lucenario inspected the construction on 13 June 2008. Earlier, during her trip to Maigo, Lanao del Norte, OPAS Assistant Secretary Corazon Yap-Bahjin also inspected the site on 18 May 2008.
The renovation by JTA Builders commenced in April this year and is expected to be finished by August 2008. The RCO expects to transfer to its new premises by then to better serve the public from this more accessible and centrally located site.
RCO joins Gingoog and Opol jobs fairs
The Regional Consular Office participated in Gingoog City’s 2-day jobs fair last 15-16 May 2008. The RCO team composed of Ms. Yvonne G. Mofar, Mr. Frankson S. Ong, Mr. Jandy E. Zulita and Mr. Jefferson B. Talam processed 92 passport applications during the fair.
The job fair was made possible through the efforts of Mayor Ms. Ruth Guingona, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) office and Philippine Employment Service Organization (PESO) local office in their city. The activity was also participated in by the National Statistics Office Region X (NSO), Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the private sector that included recruiting agencies for foreign and local hiring.
The activity ended with a culmination program held at the Mayor’s Office on the 16 May where the mayor presented the RCO a Plaque of Recognition for its supportive participation.
The RCO also attended the jobs fair of Opol, Misamis Oriental on 15 May 2008. Mayor Dixon Q. Yasay thanked the RCO and other government offices like the DOLE, OWWA and POEA for gracing the town's quarterly activity. Several passport applications and inquiries were received by the RCO. The RCO Will field a bigger team in the next fair on 08 August 2008, which was not possible in May because its mobile team was scheduled earlier to serve Gingoog City.
MRP procedures have stabilized
The releasing of machine readable passports (MRP) has stabilized, and the waiting time to release passports has steadily improved. Sometime in March 2008, the waiting time for regular passport processing was around twenty-seven (27) working days. As of May 2008, it has gone down to twenty (20) working days or four weeks.
For express processing, the waiting time has now dropped from seventeen (17) working days to eleven (11) working days.
For the month of June 2008, the average daily passport application was 242, with around 132 or 55% of them being express applications. This volume brought an income of P 2.4 million pesos for the general fund and P 660 thousand pesos for the passport revolving fund.
Mobile passporting intensified
RCO Cagayan de Oro intensified its mobile passporting services and made several mobile visits to local government units in Northern Mindanao during the past semester.
Oroquieta in 10-11 November 2007, then Dapa, Siargao Island Surigao del Norte in January 2008, Oroquieta 15-16 March 2008, Maigo, Lanao del Norte 5-6 April 2008, Gingoog City 15-16 May 2008
The RCO also joined the job fairs in Opol, Misamis Oriental, at SM City Cagayan de Oro, at Malaybalay, Bukidnon, and in Tubod, Lanao del Norte. It uses other events, such as the OFW Day last 07 June 2008 at the Misamis Oriental Capitol Grounds, to disseminate important passport information and application forms.
Hotkey speeds up CGF encoding
RCO Cagayan de Oro's encoders use Hotkey to speed up encoding of the computer generated application form (CGF). Each encoder has her/his own personalized set of Hotkey codes which are really keyboard shortcuts. With Hotkey, the encoding of 300 applications can be easily accomplished by two full time encoders in one day. That is around 20 applications per hour per encoder.
The chances of committing typing errors is also substantially reduced because frequently occuring keystrokes are executed as one keystroke. For example, the encoders do not type the name of common cities or municipalities anymore, but only an easily remembered mnemonic hotstring. The province names pop up automatically-- always correctly abbreviated.
Website proves itself effective
The RCO's self-developed website has lessened the volume of telephoned inquiries received daily by the RCO. The inquiries fall generally under two main headings: queries on requirements for passport application or renewal, and queries on passport availability for releasing.
The website was launched in December 2007, and it now features a simple e-Query page to assist applicants check the availability of their passports for claiming. The e-Query can be used any time of the day or night from the comfort and convenience of their offices, internet cafés and homes.
The RCO is still exploring further how it could utilize its website to run an on-line appointment system where prospective applicants can set the date and time of their personal appearance.
With the assistance of the CMISD, a URL name (www.dfa.gov.ph/cdo) was reserved that intuitively signals both DFA and Cagayan de Oro. All website content resides with the RCO's local internet service provider, PhilCom Corporation. The RCO updates its web contents every day, especially the list of applicants whose passports have arrived from Manila and have been cleared for releasing.
LBC passport delivery set up
Passport applicants need not come back a second time to Cagayan de Oro to claim their passports. With the LBC passport delivery system in place, LBC claims the passports from DFA and delivers them as LBC parcels directly to their owners. LBC set up its counter in the RCO in May 2008.
This reliable and convenient LBC service to any address in the Philippines is very affordably priced at P100. An increasing number of applicants are availing themselves of this LBC Passport Delivery Service, especially those coming from distant places.
Mr. Mangondato to Jeddah
Mr. Acod L. Mangondato, Jr., Property Officer, was posted to the Philippine Consulate General. in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. RCO Cagayan de Oro bids Mr. Mangondato and his family farewell and wishes them a smooth transition in Jeddah.
Mr. Pandapatan arrives from Doha
Mr. Omar S. Pandapatan assumed his duties as Property Officer vice Mr. Mangondato on 08 January 2008. Prior to his assignment in Cagayan de Oro, Mr. Pandapatan was Attaché and Interpreter at the Philippine Embassy in Doha, Qatar. He speaks and writes fluent Arabic. We welcome Mr. Pandapatan to RCO Cagayan de Oro.
Ms. Dianalan en route to Tripoli
Ms. Amerah P. Dianalan, Finance Officer, is leaving Cagayan de Oro soon to assume her duties as Collecting Officer at the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli, Libya. RCO Cagayan de Oro bids Ms. Dianalan and her family farewell with its best wishes as she moves on to greater responsibilities and wider scope for serving her countrymen in Tripoli.
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