Following reports claiming that the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) had lost its passport data to its old contractor, the Palace on Monday called the ongoing practice of the agency as “cumbersome” after requiring applicants to bring their original birth certificates when renewing passports.
During the press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that the submission of the old or current passport, which the applicant seeks to renew “should suffice for the purpose.”
“Applicants should not be burdened by submitting original copies of their certificates of live birth, obtaining which requires another application process before the Philippine Statistics Authority, to renew their passports just because the producer lost their relevant data,” Panelo said.
The agency reportedly vowed to address its passport data loss after a previously outsourced printer allegedly took off with passport holders’ documents when its contract was terminated.
“The ongoing practice is not only cumbersome to everyone affected but is a form of a red tape which this administration frowns upon and will not tolerate,” he said.
Panelo also described the sudden breach as a “serious and grave matter” and assured that the National Privacy Commission (NPC) is determining whether there were any violations to the Data Privacy Act 2012 (R.A. 10173). He also added that the current arrangement for the printing of passports should also be examined to determine if there are violations of pertinent laws, which may be detrimental to the public.
Earlier, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., bared that the previous contractor has made inaccessible the data it was entrusted to after its printing contract was terminated.