Amid pandemic, SF PH Consulate exceeds 2021 target, renders over 43,800 consular services


SAN FRANCISCO – Despite the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco rendered more than 43,800 consular services to Filipinos in the United States Pacific Northwest for full-year 2021.

“Amid the numerous changes and adjustments in response to the raging pandemic, the Consulate exceeded its targets in 2021 and rendered 43,845 consular services to our kababayans in the US Pacific Northwest,” Philippine Consul General in San Francisco Neil Frank Ferrer said during the 2022 Consular Planning Meeting on January 5.

“These services include passport and visa issuances, dual citizenship applications, civil registrations, and notarization of documents,” Ferrer said, who added that of the total consular output for 2021, 22.6 percent were rendered during the Consulate’s nine consular outreach missions in Alaska, Colorado, Montana, northern Nevada, Oregon and Washington State.

Ferrer reaffirmed the Consulate’s commitment “to deliver efficient, effective, and timely passport and other consular services to Filipinos in the US Pacific Northwest in 2022, building on the Consulate’s accomplishments in 2021.”

During the planning meeting with Consulate personnel, Consular Section Head and Consul Jed Martin Llona crunched the numbers from 2021, which show that 24,617 passports were issued or renewed last year. This is more than the Consulate’s target of 18,112 passports, as well as the 21,823 passports issued in 2019 or prior to the pandemic. The Consulate also processed 893 passport validity extensions, and issued 357 travel documents.

Consul Llona also outlined the full-year 2021 figures from the other consular services of the Consulate: 9,363 dual citizenship applications processed, above the Consulate’s target of 4,112; 5,152 notarial services rendered, above the target of 5,088; 2,262 civil registrations (Report of Birth/Marriage/Death) processed, above the target of 1,854; and 1,201 Philippine visas issued, above the target of 1,163.

Innovations in the Consulate’s consular processes were also instituted in 2021. These include: the roll-out of the Global Online Appointment System of the Department of Foreign Affairs, where online passport appointments are opened via; the designation of an Information Officer, who guides clients upon their entry to the Consulate; the introduction of touchscreen counters for client check-in at the Consulate; and the launch of the once-a-month Saturday consular service.

Meanwhile, the Consulate ended last October 14 the 2019-2021 overseas voting registration for the 2022 National Elections with the processing of 11,451 applications, including recapture, correction of entries, and transfer. This wave of new overseas voters raised to 47,820 the total number of registered voters in the US Pacific Northwest for the 2022 elections.

The Consulate continues to abide by the health and safety protocols of local authorities to avert the further spread of COVID-19. All personnel and clients are required to wear face masks inside the Consulate, and are requested to observe physical distancing at all times. Meanwhile, hand sanitizer stations are readily available inside the building.

The Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco recently opened its Kalayaan Hall as a consular waiting and processing area, providing more convenience to its clients especially during the winter season. (San Francisco PCG photo)