Passport data secure — Department of Foreign Affairs

January 21, 2019
Department of Foreign Affairs

THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) yesterday assured the National Privacy Commission (NPC) that all passport data in the agency’s custody are safe.

Data Protection Officer and Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Medardo Macaraig, Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs Neil Frank Ferrer, and other DFA officials made a full presentation on the passport process and told the privacy commission “that measures are in place to protect the personal data of passport applicants” in its entire ISO-certified process.

DFA spokesperson Elmer Cato said the Department assured NPC that DFA is “extremely serious” in protecting the personal information of the public and all passport data.

“The Department remains in custody and control of passport data and that this has not been shared with or accessed by any unauthorized party,” he added.

The meeting between the NPC and DFA came following the remarks of DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. about alleged passport data loss.

In view of the clarification that no breach occurred, Cato said the DFA “is hoping that it was able to address the concerns of the Commission.”

Cato said the DFA remains ready to cooperate with the NPC, as well as with Congress, in an inquiry to be conducted on the issue.

“The Department is also hoping that it was able to assuage the concerns of the public on this issue that has also resulted in improvements in the passport application process,” he added.