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Jan 12 19, 4:33 pm

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Ex-DFA passport maker runs off with applicants’ data

by | News

Jan. 12, 19 | 4:33 pm

Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. revealed that the previous outsourced passport maker ran away and did not turn over the previously acquired data back to the government when their contract was terminated.

“We are rebuilding our files from scratch because previous outsourced passport maker took all the data when contract (was) terminated,” Locsin said on his personal Twitter account.

“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,” he said in another post.

Due to the incident, Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Elmer Cato said that Filipino applicants renewing their old passports are required to bring the original copy of their birth certificates.

“Applicants renewing brown or green passports or maroon machine-readable passports are required to submit birth certificates because we need to capture and store the document in our database.”

According to Cato, the agency no longer possesses the physical copy of the document submitted by applicants when they first applied.

He said the DFA stopped issuing the maroon machine-readable passports in 2010 or 2011, which was replaced by the upgraded and more secure e-Passport.

The reminder came following the perception that the submission of birth certificates for passport renewal is a new requirement.

“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 in a separate statement Saturday.

“All the valid passports in circulation now are e-Passports,” he added.

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THE FILIPINO TIMES is the biggest and most trusted Filipino newspaper in the UAE.

It has a print run of 60,000 copies and 250,000 readership per week; bolstered by 2.5 million visitors to its website every month. It also has an e-newsletter sent to its 250,000 subscribers every day.

The Filipino Times is FREE and has the widest targeted circulation across the 7 emirates of the UAE.

With more than 2,500 strategic distribution spots, TFT is available where the Filipinos are - at Smart Bus Shelters, Metro Stations, restaurants, supermarkets, schools, airport lounges, Emirates and Etihad Philippine-bound flights, churches, Filipino community events and many more.

THE FILIPINO TIMES. We are where the Filipinos are.

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