Statement: On the Passport Data Issue

21 January 2019 – This morning, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) met with the National Privacy Commission (NPC) in connection with recent issues related to passport data.

In that meeting, the Department, represented by its Data Protection Officer Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Medardo Macaraig, Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs Neil Frank Ferrer, and other officials, made a full presentation on the passport process and assured the Commission that measures are in place to protect the personal data of passport applicants in the entire ISO-certified process.

The Department assured the Commission that it takes extremely seriously the protection of the personal information of the public and that all passport data is safe. The Department remains in custody and control of passport data and that this has not been shared with or accessed by any unauthorized party.

The Department is hoping that it was able to address the concerns of the Commission and remains ready to cooperate, especially with Congress, in any other investigation to be conducted on this 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, in particular the issuance by the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Department Order 03-2019 that eliminates the need to submit birth certificates upon renewal, except in a few specific cases.

The Department gives its assurance that it will continue to endeavor to improve the delivery of its consular services to Filipinos in the Philippines and overseas. END