No need for birth certificate to renew passport: Locsin

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 15 2019 03:18 PM | Updated as of Jan 15 2019 08:32 PM

MANILA - (UPDATE) Holders of passports issued until 2009 no longer need to present their birth certificates when renewing their travel document, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said Tuesday.

Locsin, in a tweet, said he has signed an order removing birth certificates as a required document to renew one's passport.

"Signing order removing birth certificate requirement for passport renewals. Old passport is more than sufficient," he said.

The move came amid concerns on an alleged data security breach covering Filipino passport holders.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) earlier said it needed to "rebuild" its database for passports issued before 2010 after a "previous outsourced passport maker took all the data when contract terminated."

Holders of old passports- those issued until 2009 including the brown, green, and maroon machine-readable passports- were earlier required to submit birth certificates when applying for renewal since the DFA "no longer have the physical copy of the document submitted when they first applied."

The National Privacy Commission (NPC) has launched an investigation into the alleged data security breach.

Locsin on Monday said there is "no leak so far" of the passport data that a former private contractor allegedly ran off with.

He added Tuesday that for now, the DFA is taking the word of former passport contractor APO Production Unit, that there is no breach in Filipinos' data.

"For now, the Department of Foreign Affairs is taking the word of that there is no breach in passport data and as sufficient justification in removing the birth certificate requirement in the renewal of passports," Locsin said in a statement.

"Only a Senate investigation will assure the public that there was no breach or loss of data. Until then, the Department can give no assurances on the safety and security of some data," he added.