In the country that we will be going (praying that our visa applications get approved, *fingers crossed*), passport should not expire within six months the date of your travel (the immigration might not let us pass). But ours will expire on the first quarter of 2016 and our travel departure is on November 2015. We then decided to have it renewed in order to avoid problem.
My sister set up our appointment in DFA SM Manila last October 2, she couldn't find a nearer DFA branch because of the short timeframe (we live in Makati). She chose 10AM and I'm glad she did because we were the first batch for that day and we finished for about 20 minutes only!