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Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs says some e-passports are defective

Categories Biometrics News

The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has announced that some of the country’s e-passports issued in 2012 are defective, finding some pages are easy to tear from the booklet.

Reported in GMAnetwork, the DFA made the comments about the defective e-passports last week, and has told affected e-passport holders to go to embassies or consulates for replacements and that holders should not try to fix the passports themselves, as it could be considered a form of tampering.

Philippine e-passports contain a contactless microchip with an integrated photograph, a digitized secondary photo and an electronic signature of the passport holder.

According to a report from GMAnetwork from 2012, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and Oberthur Philippines have been producing the e-passports for the DFA and the easily torn pages have previously been noted as an issue. The total cost of the project, launched in 2009 by the DFA, is roughly US$22 million (P900 million).

Reported in BiometricUpdate.com, the Philippines Bureau of Immigration received donated biometric equipment from the U.S. government to help improve the agency’s ability to identify foreign fugitives and illegal aliens in the country.

No stranger to biometrics, the Philippine Congress recently passed a bill requiring all voters in the country to undergo biometric registration for elections in 2016.

Reported previously, the Commission on Elections in the Philippines has announced that the number of registered voters for the country’s May elections this year has reached more than 52 million. According to reports, this is the highest amount ever recorded to participate in the country’s elections.

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