16 FEBRUARY 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Members of the Filipino community expressed their concern and dismay as the online appointment system of the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles crashed due to unusually high web traffic over the President’s Day weekend.
The Consulate immediately requested the web hosting service provider to increase the capacity of the server to accommodate the high volume of website visitors. But still the thousands of hits on the site continues to slow down access.
The Consulate has taken steps to address the surge in demand for consular services. It increased the number of daily appointment slots to 70 for passport issuance (from 40 per day) and to 22 for dual citizenship (from 16) for the months of March and April 2021. Slots for consular notarization remain at 20 per day. This is the maximum number of people that the Consulate can accommodate with the health safety protocols currently in place to contain the pandemic.
The Consulate is responding to emails and phone calls and posting updates on its social media pages to allay the concerns of the community.
“We assure the public that the issues being experienced by our Consulate in Los Angeles are temporary. The Consulate is working tirelessly to restore the website and the online appointment system to their full capacity as soon as possible,” Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez said.
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the Philippine Embassy and Consulates General in the United States have been in close coordination, exchanging best practices and finding solutions to common problems.“This pandemic has created a very challenging situation for everyone, including the Embassy and the Consulates. The demand for consular services remains at an elevated level while our capacity to operate and deliver is severely hampered by stringent health protocols. We appeal for the public’s patience and understanding as we do our best to deliver the best service that they deserve,” Ambassador Romualdez said.