THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has advised Filipinos who want to renew their old passports 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,” Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Elmer Cato said in a tweet Friday.
Cato said the agency no longer possess the physical copy of the document submitted by applicants when they first applied.
He said the DFA stopped issuing the maroon machine-readable passports around 2010 to 2011, which was replaced by the upgraded and more secured e-Passport.
Lately, applicants thought the submission of birth certificates for passport renewal was 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.
DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. earlier announced that the previous outsourced passport maker did not transfer the previously acquired data back to the government when their 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,” the DFA chief said.
“Passports pose national security issues and cannot be kept back by private entities. Data belongs to the state,” he added.