THE Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles has reopened to handle certain services, but advises the public to follow its guidelines under the “new normal.”

The consulate — which covers approximately 1.3 million Filipinos in Southern California, Southern Nevada and Arizona — has been accepting in-person services by appointment only for passport renewal, notarization/legalization of documents, dual citizenship, and Social Security System matters, according to Consul General Adelio Cruz.

“Right now, we do not accept walk-in applications because everything is done by appointment,” Cruz said during a recent “Tanong ni ConGen” livestream hosted by PH Consul General in San Francisco Henry Bensurto Jr.

Meanwhile, the consulate is accepting the following services by mail: civil registry, visa renewals, travel document, certified true copy of Philippine passport or dual citizenship certificate, and the renunciation of Philippine citizenship.

Those who go to the consulate’s physical office are required to follow certain guidelines such as: wearing a mask or face covering, coming with complete requirements for the particular service needed, not bringing non-essential companions to the appointment, bring own pen, bring cash and exact change (credit card not accepted), and stay home if feeling sick.

The office’s main phone number during office hours is (213) 639-0980 but Cruz advises the public that lines may be busy given the influx of calls.

Emergency hotlines are (213) 268-9990 and (213) 269-7852, which are open 24/7. The assistance-to-nationals hotline is (213) 587-0758.

Cruz reminded Filipinos in the U.S. that only Filipino citizens or dual citizens are permitted to travel to the Philippines as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

“Only Filipinos and dual citizens are allowed to enter the Philippines, but if you are Filipino or dual citizen, you may bring your spouse or any [foreign] national, your minor child, or your parents,” he said, adding that they need to get a visa from the consulate and show proof of relationship.

Dual citizens must show the original certificate of dual citizenship or a certified copy of the documents in order to enter the country.

The consulate in LA said that as of Sept. 28, all appointment slots for dual citizenship and passport services have been filled up through the end of December. Appointments for January 2021 and beyond will open up soon, according to the consulate.

Information on more guidelines and how to make an appointment can be found at the Consulate General’s website at www.philippineconsulatela.org.

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