Locsin replaces QRS as passport delivery complaints mount

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DUE to mounting complaints over the late delivery of Philippine-issued passports, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin Jr., confirmed on Wednesday he had replaced the logistics contractor QRS (Quick Reliable Service).

Locsin said he heard of QRS for the first time and apologized for the passport delivery debacle. “First time I’ve heard of this sorry outfit; they are totally out and it is back to the DFA Cooperative which ran it superbly in the past. We’re getting AIR21, LBC and others,” he tweeted in his official Twitter account.

Last Sunday, August 8, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) issued an advisory saying it has terminated the services of QRS.

“In view of the multiple complaints received from passport applicants who booked courier services online, about the unsatisfactory performance of courier service provider, Quick Reliable Service, Inc. or QRS, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has instructed APO Production Unit, Inc., its end-to-end-passport process provider, to immediately cease using the passport delivery services of QRS.”

The DFA said starting at 6 a.m. Monday, August 9, “online passport applicants who are expecting a delivery from QRS may inquire on the status of their parcel with APO’s customer service center using these contact details: Email: [email protected]

Hotline #: +63 2 82343488, press 1 for QRS concerns

The DFA said onsite passport applicants who wish to avail themselves of courier services on the day of the filing of their applications remain unaffected by the termination of QRS’ services, “as LBC shall continue to provide its services to these applicants.”

The advisory added: “The DFA apologizes for the shortcomings of QRS and requests the public’s understanding as it puts together alternative delivery options in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

For those who complained to Locsin about their delayed passport delivery, apparently not aware that QRS had been sacked, the secretary said: “Well, why do you think they (QRS) were terminated by me with extreme and rapid prejudice. We’re setting up a better shop that will be competitive: you can pick your courier.”

He assured those that have been affected by the change of delivery service that their passport has not been lost.

“Dontcha worry, not a passport has been lost; and real couriers are taking them to you. Right now I’d pick them up myself if I were you,” Locsin tweeted.

For those who claimed they had to pay again to secure their passport, Locsin said this calls for a police investigation.

He said he had chosen a non-monopolistic service to replace QRS.

Netizens hailed the DFA decision to replace QRS, with some tweeting appreciation for the speedy delivery of their passports: “My family’s passport has finally been delivered and it’s via Air21. Renewed at TOPS MOA July 10.”

Locsin’s decision to terminate QRS came in the wake of numerous complaints of delays in the delivery of passports to applicants, some of whom said they paid an extra amount to avail of the speedy services.

QRS is allied with APO Printing, the same entity involved in the production and personalization of Philippine passports.

QRS surfaced at the height of the pandemic and replaced the partnership of LBC-DFA Multi-Purpose Cooperative (DFAMPC) as the official courier of passports.

The DFA rank and file were surprised by the move, given the proven track record of LBC in the courier service sector.

Locsin earlier directed the Office of Consular Affairs, a division under the jurisdiction of DFA Undersecretary Brigido Dulay, to investigate the proliferation of social media sites, especially on Facebook, that are openly selling online schedules to as much as P3,800 per slot.

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