Back to square one for those who will renew their “older” or non-electronic passports as they will have to submit their birth certificates after the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) disclosed that it had lost data to a previous contractor.
In the personal Twitter account of DFA Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin, the Foreign Affairs Chief said, “Because previous contractor got pissed when terminated it made off with data. We did nothing about it or couldn’t because we were in the wrong. It won’t happen again. Passports pose national security issues and cannot be kept back by private entities. Data belongs to the state.”
As background, before the Philippines adapted to shift to e-passport, the DFA had already required the submission of physical copies of birth certificates and marriage contracts.
DFA Assistant Secretary Elmer Cato clarified that only those applicants who possess brown or green passports or maroon machine-readable passports (MRP) but not the e-passport (electronic passport) as required “to submit birth certificates because DFA needs to capture and store the document in their database since they no longer have the physical copy of the document submitted when these applicants first applied.
Cato said electronic that the new passports or “e-passports” are those passports that contain a microchip holding all the data of the passport holder.
“Those who are renewing their passports need not have to worry about the birth certificate requirement if they already have the electronic passport and a lot of the passport holders have already been issued with that (e-passport),” he added.
Meanwhile, the DFA Secretary assured everyone that their agency has been doubling its efforts to hasten passport issuance. He also console those who are worried about the possible delay of their passport renewal process that everything is control and they will step up their efforts to rebuilding their files from scratch.