MANILA – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) urged Filipinos renewing their passport to present their birth certificate after losing passport holders’ data to a previous contractor.
DFA secretary Teddy Boy Locsin on Saturday said holders of “older” or non-electronic passports (brown or green passport or maroon machine readable passport) need to present their birth certificates for renewal.
“Because (the) 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,” Locsin wrote on his Twitter account.
He added: “Passports pose national security issues and cannot be kept back by private entities. Data belongs to the state. The DFA is rebuilding its files from scratch and it won’t happen again.”
DFA assistant secretary Elmer Cato, in a separate tweet, said the presentation of birth certificate is for them 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 also clarified that presentation of birth certificate was not a new requirement but is only required for old passport holders after the DFA stopped issuing the maroon machine-readable passports and upgraded it to a more secure e-Passport.
“We have clarified that only those holding expired machine readable ready and machine readable passports issued before we initially launched the electronic passport in 2009 would have to meet this requirement,” Cato said./PN