By Cynthia BalanaPhilippine Daily InquirerFirst Posted 19:18:00 05/30/2008
MANILA, Philippines -- Filipinos who hold the new machine-readable passports are no longer segregated at airports or discriminated against globally, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo said this started after the DFA began issuing the new passports and implementing the e-passport project.
Romulo assured the integrity, validity and security of the machine-readable passports being issued to Filipinos here and abroad. More than a million Filipinos have already received the new passports.
"As a result of the DFA's machine-readable passports, our kababayans (compatriots) now have greater travel security, confidence and convenience all over the world," he said, without making any reference to the number of Filipinos who still have the old passports.
Romulo said that all of the actions taken by the DFA to implement the shift to the new type of passports were consistent with the law and government rules regarding acquisition of equipment and services.
He said the new passports were produced in full accord with the Government Procurement Reform Act (R.A. 9184) and other relevant statutes and regulations, and are more secure, globally accepted and compliant with standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization.
The DFA said that despite their enhanced security features, the machine-readable passports do not cost the public more than the old, manually scripted green passports.
The regular price for a machine-readable passport remains P500, the same as the old green passport.
Seryoso? Pray tell, Mr Romulo-- how does one use these new passports as official entry requirements to countries that require 'signed' travel documents, when the greatest guffaw of all this cheerleading is that you forgot to attach a page that shows the bearer's signature? Opo, walang signature page. Dyosko.