The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila. Photo: Google Maps

The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) launched on Friday a passport portal exclusively for first-time overseas Filipino workers so they can book their passport appointments online.

Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alan Peter Cayetano said the portal was meant to help people heading out of the country to work overseas for the first time to obtain a passport, since they are not eligible to use the courtesy lane in the regular system, GMA News reported.

According to the department, the portal can only be accessed with a username and password provided by any of the 170 recruitment agencies licensed by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration and registered with the DFA.

A total of about 1,000 passport appointment slots will be allotted daily to the 170 licensed recruitment agencies.

The DFA said the appointment booking was free of charge and recruitment agencies that asked for payment would be removed from the system, ABS-CBN News reported.

Read: Filipino workers told bookings not needed for new passports