The good news is that DFA has come a long way in improving the passport application/renewal process. Now, they even offer a pick-up service for those who literally abhor lines. But at almost triple the price, I find that very impractical since you don't have to wait in line for half a day (or more) anymore with the measures they've implemented.
But first, go get a schedule/appointment first, which you can do in two ways.
First, you can download, print and fill-up their forms already and go to DFA Manila. Proceed to the covered court at the right side of Gate 2. Photocopy your accomplished form and fall in line for a stub with your schedule on it (date and time to return for the actual processing). Or you can just go to their website and click on a small icon at the left side to apply for an appointment. However, they sometimes take their time in replying. And their system may have glitches or what because my husband applied online for all three of us, but only received two appointment letters through e-mail.
And if you haven't gotten your appointment letter yet, do not bother to go. They're pretty strict with that because they really only process those who were scheduled for that day. All windows have a master list for each day.
But... if you do have an appointment for that day, the processing will really only take an hour. You still have to fall in line, but since there are already so many processors at each stage, it's not anymore the bothersome, annoying endeavor it once was.
Oh, do take note of the guidelines for the pictures. We had our pics taken at Great Image, which proved really unnecessary. We could have really just gotten our pics taken in one of the many studios around the DFA complex, and that would have been cheaper. Just make sure you wear a decent attire with a collar, and your top isn't white and your background is royal blue. (actually, most photo stalls even photoshop pics to give you a coat or blazer if you're only wearing a shirt)
Then again, minors (below 18 yrs old) need not be present so you'd have to have their pics taken somewhere else. Any parent can just sign for the child, but if the child's status is illegitimate, only the mother (or maybe legal guardian) can do so.
Regular processing costs P500. Overtime (meaning you can get it in a week's time) would cost P250 more.