PASSPORT RENEWAL CHANGES | DFA passport maker took away all its data

6 days ago

January 12, 2019 – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is now solving head-on its latest passport woes amid several complaints from Filipinos applying for renewal.

Foreign Affairs secretary Teddy Locsin, Jr. disclosed that the previous contractor “took away” the passport data base, prompting the DFA to require applicants to bring their birth certificates as reference.

“Everybody agrees with me that old passport is 1000% ID better than birth certificate: the holder applied for it and not someone else for a baby,” Locsin said Tuesday on his Twitter account.

Some netizens, mostly Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), complained that the DFA did not allow them to only use their old passports as documents when applying for new ones.

“We are rebuilding our files from scratch because previous outsourced passport maker took all the data when contract terminated,” Locsin added.

“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,” the Secretary further explained in another tweet.

Locsin also raised the concern to DFA Assistant Secretary Elmer Cato, questioning why applicants still need to submit birth certificates when they have their old passports.

“Isn’t the expired passport sufficient ID? How many times do you have to prove you are what the State declared you are in the expired passports?”

Cato likewise clarified that applicants with the e-Passport do not need to present birth certificates, but those renewing brown or green passports or maroon machine-readable passports are required.

“We need to capture and store the document in our database as we no longer have the physical copy of the document submitted when they first applied,” he added.

Locsin however assured the DFA has been taking all necessary efforts to hasten passport issuance.

“I am sure the DFA negotiated better with the new passport contractor.” Locsin said. “Nobody in their right mind and good manners deliberately delays issuing passports or any requirement. What for?”

He added the agency will also come up with an application which will record the number of unanswered calls from the public.