DFA requiring persons renewing passports to bring birth certificates
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is requiring persons renewing passports to bring a copy of their birth certificate after its outsourced passport maker took all applicants' data when its contract was not renewed.
This came out on Saturday in a newspaper as the DFA assured Filipinos since Wednesday that they were doing everything to fix the problem.
Assistant Foreign Secretary Elmer Cato said in his Twitter account Wednesday birth certificates must be submitted in renewing brown or green passports or maroon machine readable passports.
"We need to capture and store the document in our database as we no longer have the physical copy of the document," Cato said.
As response to netizens' tweets regarding the requirement, Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr replied Wednesday: "We are rebuilding our files from scratch because previous outsourced passport maker took all the data when contract (was) terminated."
"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 it cannot be kept back by private entities. Data belongs to the state," Locsin added.
Some netizens on Twitter cited problems in data privacy protection. However, Locsin argued the issue cannot be considered as data piracy.
"It is not a question of data privacy. The data is useless to the old contractor. It is a question of official stupidity or more likely cupidity," he replied to a netizen.
Cato said e-passport holders or those with dark maroon passports are not required to bring copies of their birth certificates when applying for a renewal. Cristina Eloisa Baclig/DMS