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Passport maker ‘took all data’ when contract terminated, reveals DFA chief

/ 10:54 AM January 12, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is now requiring holders of  “older” or non-electronic passports for renewal to submit their birth certificates after the agency revealed that it had lost data to a previous contractor.

“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,” DFA Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin said in his personal twitter account.

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“It won’t happen again. Passports pose national security issues and cannot be kept back by private entities. Data belongs to the state,” he added.

This was in response to a tweet by DFA Assistant Secretary Elmer Cato, where he instructed applicants who plan to renew their brown or green passports or maroon machine-readable passports (MRP) “to submit birth certificates because 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.”

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According to Cato the DFA stopped issuing the machine readable-ready and machine readable passports (MRP) around 2010 to 2011.  Cato said electronic passports or “e-passports” are passports which contains a microchip.

“There are still those who are in possession of expired MRP or older passports who have not renewed yet,” Cato told INQUIRER.net.

“Those renewing their passports really not be worried about the birth certificate requirement since most of them already have the electronic passport,” he added.

An overseas Filipino worker earlier tweeted Locsin about his failure to renew his passport due to a supposed problem with his birth certificate.

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Locsin, meanwhile, assured that the DFA is “rebuilding” its files “from scratch” after a previous outsourced passport maker “took all the data when contract terminated.”  /muf

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TAGS: DFA, expired passports, Locsin, passport renewa
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