DFA removes PH map from new passports
THE DEPARTMENT of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has removed the illustration of the Philippine map from the new design of the electronic passport (e-passport) to be released next month due to the “political sensitivity” of the issues surrounding the South China Sea.
Foreign Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs Frank Cimafranca told the Inquirer: “We had to remove the map because the issue (of the territorial disputes in the South China Sea) is politically sensitive.”
The interagency meeting that evaluated and approved the passport design decided to remove the map because it did not accurately reflect the extent of the Philippine territory as defined in the Constitution.
The Philippines, China, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan and Brunei all have claims to islands and atolls in the South China Sea west of the Philippines. The Philippines has filed a case against China’s encroachments in the arbitral court in The Hague.
Cimafranca said the e-passport was redesigned in order to upgrade its security features. The microchips imbedded in the passport were upgraded to ensure secure travel for Filipino travelers.
The new security features such as the Intaglio secure printing technology are in line with the standards of the International Civil Aviation Technology (ICAO) of the United Nations.
The new passport, a copy of which was shown to the Inquirer features the lyrics of the national anthem and illustrations of tourist spots like the Banaue rice terraces and icons like the Philippine eagle on its pages.