Solon: Loss of passport applicants’ data may affect implementation of national ID system

January 13, 2019

A House leader yesterday warned of a possible data loss in the implementation of the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) Act if Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. will not identify the contractor and work for the immediate prosecution of its officials for taking away all passport applicants’ data.

Quezon City Rep. Winston “Winnie” Castelo, who chairs the House committee on Metro Manila development, also urged the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) and other concerned government agencies to guarantee that there will be no data loss in the implementation of the national identification (ID) system to be tested this month and rolled out by September 2019.

“The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the National Privacy Commission (NPC), as well as other concerned agencies, as they prepare for the rollout of the national identification system should make sure that this kind of data loss will never happen,” warned Castelo.

This national identification system will require all adult Filipinos to secure a “Filipino ID card” containing personal information, such as their name, birth date, blood type, height, weight and permanent address.

Castelo underscored the importance for Locsin to name the contractor and file formal complaints against its officials.

He said it was disappointing that the DFA now requires passport applicants to present their original birth certificates even for renewal purposes.

“The DFA should inform the public about who this private contractor is, the company or individuals behind it, and how it intends to file charges against whoever they may be, and ensure that they are penalized for their actions” Castelo stressed.

“When did the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) discover that its official passport contractor ran off with the data of applicants? What has the DFA done to address this serious issue involving the privacy of individuals and the security of the state? Why has there been no official pronouncement from the DFA regarding this matter aside from social media?” Castelo added.

The NPC announced it will investigate the claim of Locsin on social media that a terminated contractor had run off with personal data of passport holders.